Schoolboy’s body discovered during search for robbery suspects

An unrelated search for criminals led police and private security guards to the grisly discovery of the decomposed body of a young child dressed in school uniform.

While details were sketchy last night there are growing fears that the body, which was found at a site near Phoenix on Monday, could be that of missing nine-year-old Durban schoolboy Miguel Louw.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said although the body fits the description of the nine-year-old, police were yet to confirm if it was him.

“The body is badly decomposed and for now we can’t say for sure that it’s him.”

She said investigations would begin today and that Miguel’s family would be asked to identify the body.

Mbhele said the body, which was found with school clothes, was at an advanced stage of decomposition.

A police source, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “A school jacket he was reportedly wearing the last time he was seen with his school emblem was linked to him.

“The chances of it being him are almost a 100% but police forensics still have to check ... at the end of the day it could be another body.”

The body was found by KZN VIP Protection Services security guards who were responding to an armed robbery in the area.

Head of the private security company Glen Naidoo told The Witness on Monday that during the chase, the security guards followed the suspects into a dense bush.

“They called for police back-up and together with the police went in search and couldn’t find the suspects.”

Naidoo said it was during this unrelated chase that the body was found in a shallow grave.

“There was an alarming stench of a decomposing body and they went in with the dogs and found the child in school uniform.”

Naidoo said he was devastated because this was a second child’s body the security company had recovered.

He said in 2015, the security company recovered the body of Shahiel Sewpujun in a stormwater drain after he had been kidnapped while on his way to school in Clayfield.

“We vowed that this wouldn’t happen again in our watch … it’s heartbreaking,” he said.

Miguel went missing on July 17 in the Sydenham area.

It is alleged that he was last seen in the company of Mohammed Ebrahim, who faces human trafficking charges.

Video footage allegedly shows Ebrahim buying Miguel a KFC meal near his school in Rippon Road in Sydenham.

However, it is not yet clear whether the boy entered a taxi with Ebrahim after visiting the KFC.

When Ebrahim was granted bail last week, Miguel’s parents verbally attacked him in court. His father, Kirk, hit Ebrahim with his jacket as he was escorted from court while the child’s mother, Raylene, shouted at him: “You will rot. I will find you outside.”

The family and supporters staged a noisy protest outside the court.