Khanyisile Sawutana, daughter of Nico Mzalisi, a Samora Machel ward councillor, was found with three stab wounds on Sunday. The 20-year-old was allegedly attacked by a group of unknown men.
Sawutana lived with her grandparents in New Crossroads just metres from where her bloodied body was found. A screwdriver and knife with blood were found near the body but her mother, Wendy Sawutana, claims there were no signs of sexual assault.
“She had a stab wound to the side of her waist, neck and back. It was also clear that she fought back because she had blood and flesh under her nails which we assume to be that of her attackers,” she said.
Khanyisile had been drinking with her friends at a nearby park.
“She decided she wanted to go to her boyfriend at about 2am. They begged her not to leave just yet but she insisted and bid them farewell. At about 6am I got a call from my cousin who asked me to hurry over to my parents’ house and when I walked in I knew something was wrong,” Sawutana said.
“My uncle told me Khanyi had been injured and I insisted on seeing her, and they told me she was not home and I just knew she was no more. When I got to where her body was laying, I immediately saw her feet, I recognised her sneakers, then her nails because her hand was sticking out.”
She asked the police on the scene to “remove the cover so I could see her hair, she had a grin on her face and her eyes still open. I asked to close her eyes”.
Sawutana’s last memory of her daughter was at a church service the previous week when she rushed out of church to get her hair and nails done.
“She wanted to be a lawyer, but because I did not have money to take her to university, she took a gap year and was to return to school next year,” her mother added.
Her grandfather, ZJ Sawutana, who raised her, told Weekend Argus he would “forgive the perpetrators if they were to come to me and explain why they did what they did and ask for forgiveness”.
“She was a wonderful child, sweet and humble but was not afraid of defending herself, so I am sure she tried to fight her attackers,” he said.
A distraught Mzalisi also told Weekend Argus he was “deeply hurt” by the death of his daughter.
“She was taken from me much too soon. We were very close and I just hope that the perpetrators are brought to book and the law takes its course,” the councillor said.
Police spokesman FC van Wyk, confirmed the incident but said that no arrests have been made yet.