Was 13-year-old Tariro murdered?

| Tariro Washinyira
The family of 13-year-old Tariro Makalakata believe she was murdered by people they know. Photo courtesy of the family.

No arrests have yet been made after the death of 13-year-old Tariro Makalakata earlier this month.

Tariro is the third child in a family of five and was in grade six at De Vrije Zee Primary school in Vasco. Her family are Zimbabwean immigrants.

Neighbours have accused a couple from the Ruyterwacht street where she lived of the murder of the child on 17 May.

When GroundUp visited the family on Friday, Tariro’s father Penias was busy processing paper work. He and his wife Caroline were planning to leave on Saturday and meet Tariro’s body in Zimbabwe. The body was due to be flown to Harare tomorrow.

The family is still waiting for results of a post-mortem into her death.

Tariro’s parents said they had already laid complaints of assault and abuse with the police against the couple after Tariro had been beaten two weeks ago.

A neighbour told GroundUp he had seen the couple fighting with the child on the day that she died.

At one point she had escaped but the neighbour said the man had returned with the child in a car and she had been dragged into the garage.

“Twenty minutes later we heard that Tariro had hanged herself.”

Neither the neighbours nor Tariro’s parents believe the child hanged herself.

They say she was too small to reach up to secure the rope, or to make a knot in it, and they query the writing on the so-called “suicide note” found at the scene.

Captain FC Van Wyk of SAPS Western Cape Media Centre confirmed that Tariro had been found hanging in her garage on 17 May and that a note had been found. An inquest docket had been opened and the police were waiting for the post mortem report.

He said no assault charges had been laid by the family or neighbours.

TOPICS:  Crime Murder

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