TUESDAY 02 APRIL 2013
The 28-year-old had made international headlines in 2003, when he claimed to have been abducted from white parents and kept as a slave in a black township near Pretoria
A man who made international headlines after claiming to have been held as a white child slave in South Africa has been found stoned to death.
Happy Sindane was found dead yesterday morning in the village of Tweefontein near Johannesburg.
Passers-by apparently claim to have spotted the 28-year-old’s body at a roadside, surrounded by piles of stones and suffering injuries consistent with stoning.
Local police spokesman Colonel Leonard Hlathi said: “There was stones found at the scene. We think he was stoned to death.”
Mr Hlathi went on to say that no arrests have been made, and the motive for the killing remains unknown.
Another police spokesman, Patrick Mabhena, apparently told South Africa’s SABC news service: “On the morning of Easter Monday, Tweefontein police received information that there was a deceased person in Tweefontein. He was found lying in the street. The victim was identified as Happy Sindane, who was found with multiple injuries to his head.”
Mr Mabhena added: “A murder docket has been registered and the police are investigating the case for that matter. Therefore, the police are requesting any person who might have information that could lead to the arrest of the suspect to come forward and give that information to the police.”
Mr Sindane made international headlines in 2003 when he walked into a police station near Pretoria and claimed to have been kept as a child slave in a nearby black township.
He said he had been abducted from his white parents aged four and had been abused and forced to work for his black masters in the township ever since.
An international appeal was launched to find Mr Sindane’s birth parents, with several white Afrikaner families coming forward to claim him as their son.
After a four-month inquiry, including DNA testing, South African courts revealed Mr Sindane was, in fact, likely to be the son of black domestic worker Rina Mzayiya and her white employer Henry Nick.
The court added that Mr Sindane was likely born Abbey Mzayiya and, far from being abducted, his birth mother had simply left him with members of the Sindane family.
The Sindane family claim to have raised Happy as if he were their foster son and have always denied abusing him.