Twelve-year-old Sibusiso Dakuse was brutally murdered before he could perform his first solo at a wedding and corporate event at the Cape Town International Convention Centre

He was set to perform with the Hout Bay Music Project’s senior gig ensemble.

The Grade 7 pupil went missing last week Wednesday in Hout Bay. His lifeless body was recovered on Friday.

He went to the local Sentinel Primary School and would attend extra-curricular music lessons at the Hout Bay Music Project and the Kronendal Music Academy.

Project director of the Hout Bay Music Project, Leanne Dollman, said she was “shocked” when she received the news of his death, calling it an end that no child should have to meet.

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“We try to provide a safe environment for children in Hout Bay after school because they are so at risk,” she told News24.

According to Dollman, he was an “incredibly” talented boy. He went missing during the time he was practising for his first solo performance.

Dakuse was the fourth child who was attending the music lessons to die “in very violent circumstances” since 2017, according to Dollman.

“His death really underlined the need for organisations like this to be given more support from government. The need is huge and there is something very wrong. This issue is escalating,” she said.

The young boy was last seen walking with a man, believed to be a basketball coach in the area.

The man was arrested and was due to appear in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

The Hout Bay Music Project will be hosting a memorial for Dakuse.

On Friday, they’ll be lighting sparklers and saying their goodbyes.

“I can hardly believe that hosting a memorial ceremony for a child has become a tradition because we’ve done it so many times before,” she told News24.

Director of the Kronendal Music Academy, Dwyn Griesel, who took a video of Dakuse reciting a poem, said he was an “incredibly sensitive” and talented young man.

“He had an incredible love for life and was so curious about the world around him. He was so intelligent and really knew how to communicate through his music. Sometimes he would bring us to tears when he sang,” she told News24.

He joined the music academy in 2017 and was about to start learning to play the violin, she said.

Griesel echoed Dollman’s sentiments and pleaded for more support so that they could continue creating safe havens for more children – a “home away from home”.

On Sunday, Griesel will be riding the Cape Town Cycle Tour with Dakuse’s face printed on her T-shirt in a bid to raise money for the music academy in his honour.

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