Family’s agonising wait for DNA results in search for missing Newlands schoolboy
By Mercury Reporter Apr 14, 2021
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By NONHLANHLA HLATSHWAYO
DURBAN – THE father of a 17-year-old boy who was allegedly kidnapped in February says the family is still waiting for DNA results to confirm whether he is dead.
Mmeli Ngcobo, of Castle Hill, has been missing since February 22.
KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said it was alleged that on February 17, Mmeli took a cellphone belonging to his classmate.
She said his classmate’s parents came to the school and gave Mmeli until February 22 to return it.
Mbele said on that day, after school, Mmeli was apparently approached by two men in a Mercedes-Benz and forced into the vehicle.
Prince Ngcobo, Mmeli’s father, said this week that the family was waiting for the DNA results in connection with two bodies found after the boy went missing. One body was found in Inchanga two weeks ago, and another was found in Msunduzi.
Last Friday, residents from Newlands West, including Ngcobo’s family, protested in the Durban CBD, demanding to know what was happening with the case.
Metro police spokesperson Superintendent Parboo Sewpersad confirmed that the protest took place.
Mbele said the police were still waiting for the DNA results. “It is unknown how long it will take for the results to be released,” she said.
Last week, Police Minister Bheki Cele blamed shortages in consumables for DNA analysis and delays in awarding tenders for the massive backlogs at the police forensic laboratories.
Cele said the police were saddled with 172 787 outstanding DNA results, as of February, dating as far back as April 2019.
The forensic laboratories’ headquarters in Pretoria have 108 259 cases of DNA test results backlogs, Western Cape 56647, KZN 4537 and Eastern Cape 3344.