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Murder mystery finally solved

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By Tshego Lepule

A police officer who vanished four years ago was brutally murdered and buried in his alleged killer’s backyard.

The Daily Voice has finally unlocked the mystery behind the fate of Constable Monwabisi Mnyombolo.

The paper can reveal his former neighbours - Barnabas Sentiwe and his partner Phumza Veli - have been arrested and charged in connection with his murder.

Sentiwe reportedly killed Monwabisi, 29, because he thought the cop was having steamy sex sessions with his partner behind his back.

He is accused of luring his neighbour to his home in Mfuleni on October 26, 2009, pretending he needed help moving things around his house.

But when the officer arrived at the house, Sentiwe allegedly beat him to a pulp and stabbed him to death in front of his partner and their two shocked kids.

He is accused of stuffing the cop’s corpse into a wheelie-bin and storing the body in the house.

The murder accused allegedly had to keep Monwabisi’s bloody remains in his house for two full days because he couldn’t dispose of them without being spotted by his neighbours.

Eventually, when the body started to smell, he allegedly hacked off the officer’s head.

Sentiwe then reportedly dug two holes in the backyard – one for his victim’s head and the other for his body.

This was the last anyone had heard of Constable Mnyombolo.

His family and colleagues in the South African Police Service (SAPS) were completely baffled by his sudden disappearance.

The mystery only began to unravel when his alleged killer and his family moved out of the house of horrors where Monwabisi was brutally butchered.

Another family moved into the house in Uluntu Street, Extension Six, in early 2011.

For months the family had no idea of the brutal murder that had taken place in their new home.

But on May 12, they made a gruesome discovery when the man of the house was cleaning up the backyard.

He discovered a filthy T-shirt, a tracksuit pants and takkies buried in a shallow grave.

When he picked up the T-shirt, the bones of Constable Mnyombolo’s skeleton fell onto the ground.

The shocked man immediately alerted his neighbours - including the missing cop’s sister Khungeka Mnyombolo, 33, who still lived next door.

“I was called from next door and saw the bones from the T-shirt,” Khungeka explained.

“My neighbour at first thought it was an animal, but he was not convinced when he saw the clothing.”

Khungeka said the “truth started to sink in” as other neighbours and police arrived at the scene.

“Another neighbour who was there the night my brother disappeared confirmed those were the clothes he was wearing,” she added.

“I was heartbroken because I still believed my brother was alive.

“The traditional healers that we went to told us he was still alive and I had hoped he would walk back home one day.”

Cops finally caught up with Sentiwe and his partner in November 2011.

They were arrested and charged with Constable Mnyombolo’s murder.

However, the full details of the victim’s savage murder have never been made public until now.

The couple will soon return to court to stand trial for the killing.

Cops said blood splatters on the walls of the house where their colleague was butchered eventually led them to his alleged killer.

“Through investigation, there was a statement which was also submitted which confirmed the beating to death of Mnyombolo in the house of the neighbour,” police spokesman FC van Wyk said.

*This article was publsihed in the Daily Voice

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