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Missing Eastern Cape health worker’s decapitated body found under bathtub, relative arrested

The search for an Eastern Cape caregiver, who was reported missing in 2019, came to a horrifying end after her decapitated body was found buried under a bathtub in her Dutywa home.


The search for an Eastern Cape caregiver, who was reported missing in 2019, came to a horrifying end after her decapitated body was found buried under a bathtub in her Dutywa home.

  • A health worker, who went missing in 2019, was found buried under her bathtub in her home in Dutywa on Monday.
  • A close relative has been arrested for allegedly murdering her. 
  • Noluvuyo Ndema-Nonkwelo worked as an HIV/Aids lay counsellor at the Dutywa Health Care Centre.  

The search for an Eastern Cape caregiver, who was reported missing in 2019, came to a horrifying end on Monday after her decapitated body was found buried under a bathtub in her Dutywa home.

Noluvuyo Ndema-Nonkwelo, who worked as an HIV/Aids lay counsellor at the Dutywa Health Care Centre, was found dead in Vulindlela Village on Monday.

Health MEC Nomakhosazana Meth’s office announced the news on Tuesday.  

The incident comes while the nation is still reeling following the brutal murder of University of Fort Hare student Nosicelo Mtebeni whose dismembered body was found dumped on the streets in East London two weeks ago. 

PODCAST | The Story: Nosicelo Mtebeni’s death and the never-ending scourge of gender-based violence

Eastern Cape police spokesperson Captain Siphokazi Mawisa said a 43-year-old man was arrested in connection with the murder on Monday.

Ndema-Nonkwelo was reported missing by her husband on 3 July 2019 but the case went cold.

“Police were then alerted by the family member who was suspicious about the bathtub which was no longer mounted on the surface,” said Mawisa.

Officers went to the home and found her remains under the bathtub.

Meth condemned gender-based violence and femicide.

READ Eastern Cape man arrested for allegedly killing and burying 15-year-old ‘girlfriend’ under his bed

“The department has been robbed of a frontline worker who worked tirelessly to ensure thousands of people in the Dutywa area received the best possible healthcare services,” she said.

“We would like to call on men to stop their brutality against women. We are saying enough is enough. Noluvuyo had a bright future ahead of her and would have contributed immensely in continuing to deliver efficient services. We have been robbed of a dedicated young health professional. May her soul rest in eternal peace.”

ALSO READ | Traumatised tenants flee house of horror where Nosicelo Mtebeni was murdered

Meth urged the police to prioritise this case. 

“They must leave no stone unturned in their investigation and if found guilty, the accused must be sentenced to a heavy prison term.

“We cannot afford to be losing women like we have been in recent times. This has to be addressed and we are confident our criminal justice system will act swiftly and bring perpetrators of these heinous crimes to book.”

The accused is expected to appear in Butterworth Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.


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