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'Worst nightmare' for relatives of burnt trio

A Northcliff, Joburg, family’s worst nightmare became reality on Monday night when they discovered that the three bodies found gagged and burnt in a veld in Centurion were those of their missing relatives.
“Our worst nightmare has become real. Although the family wanted closure, we were praying that the burnt bodies didn’t belong to our family,” said Fuad Patel, a nephew of the victims.
Initially the family members were meant to identify the bodies, burnt beyond recognition on Tuesday morning.
However, after seeing the charred remains, and with the number corresponding to their missing relatives, they decided to do it on Monday night instead.
“The family couldn’t wait any longer so we went to the mortuary at 11pm on Monday,” Patel said.
He said he was ill-prepared for what he saw. He described it as a traumatic experience that no family should ever have to go through.
“I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy,” Patel said.
The three bodies, identified as two females and one man, were discovered by security personnel from a Centurion housing estate early on Monday morning.
The guards had gone into the veld to investigate a fire. Upon closer inspection they noticed the three bodies in the burnt rubble.
The called paramedics, who confirmed the presence of three bodies.
The police arrived at the scene and also confirmed the deaths, starting a forensic investigation.
Only a pair of legs were left of the charred remains, the police said.
On Sunday, three members of the Patel family had been kidnapped.
Their family members arrived at the scene to see if they could identify anything.
When they were unable to, they agreed to meet the police at the mortuary yesterday morning.
But they went there on Monday night instead.
Patel said both females – his uncle’s wife and his niece – were burnt beyond recognition and only the legs remained on one of the bodies.
According to Patel, his uncle’s upper body was still intact – and that was how the family could identify him, and therefore the other two.
Patel described his uncle as was a loving, brave and selfless man.
“He had an infectious smile that couldn’t help but spread, especially when he was trying to win an argument,” he said.
“He was selfless, willing to give his all to help those he loved,” said Patel. Family sources have identified the trio as Gregory Naidoo, 57, Melanie Naidoo, 51, and Rakiel Naidoo, 22.
But police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Kay Makhubela said they were unaware of the the positive identification of the three burnt bodies.
“All identification is done through the police and we waited today (yesterday) at the mortuary for the family to come and identify the bodies but they didn’t pitch,” said Makhubela.
As far as he was concerned, Makhubela said, the matter was still under investigation and the bodies had not been identified.
He said police still had to conduct DNA tests to determine the identity.
“We are not quite clear how long the the tests will take.
“We are appealing to anyone for information to help the police so that we can trace and arrest the suspect.”

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