Three-year-old Zazi Nzama’s life was allegedly taken by his father, who drove a nail through his head and mutilated his body by cutting off his genitals.

The gruesome incident took place on Friday in the Thembelihle area of Estcourt, northern KwaZulu-Natal.

It is alleged that the father was exhibiting signs of mental instability such as breaking windows, getting on top of houses, refusing to wear clothes and running from home for days on end.

Themba Majozi, 36, Zazi’s father, was arrested at the weekend and appeared in the Estcourt Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

Natasha Ramkisson-Kara, KZN National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson said Majozi was charged with murder and possession of human tissue.

She said “The matter was postponed to December 2 for the accused to undergo a preliminary mental observation”.

Captain Nqobile Gwala said family members decided to search for Zazi on Friday after Majozi became violent when asked about the child.

Gwala said “At 2pm, the child was found in the bushes with a nail inserted into his skull and mutilated”.

“The police were alerted and responded to the scene. A 36-year-old man was then placed under arrest for murder. The missing body parts were found inside the suspect’s house.”

Inkosi Langalibalele Local Municipality chief whip and proportional representation councillor Nkosana Mazibuko said he had visited the family yesterday.

Mazibuko said Majozi’s place of employment had called the family and told them that the suspect was ill and had to return home. However, when he was being driven home, he jumped outof the car and ran off. They noted signs of psychological issues.

He said the day before the incident Majozi had returned home after running away and asked to sleep with the child.

The family refused but eventually gave in.

The grandmother awoke at about midnight to check on the two and found that they were both there. The next morning, before she left for work she checked again and found they were both missing. She rushed to work but left a message that they were missing.

Mazibuko said “Majozi was found in the toilet but had no recollection of where the child was. The police and the K9 unit were called and the child was found.”

He said even the police noticed that Majozi appeared unwell. He also said the grandmother refused to see the child’s body because she heard what state he was in.

Mazibuko said he felt bad for the grandmother who had been raising her grandson while Majozi was away working.

Lethokuhle Majozi, Zazi’s aunt, said it was sombre, the family was unable to cope. She said “It hurts very much and it’s very difficult”.

“I would start crying whenever people visited to offer condolences and started talking about the incident. I would leave the room.”

She said Zazi’s grandmother was in a bad state and was starting to hallucinate.

Childline KZN acting director Adeshini Naicker said they were horrified to hear of the incident, especially that it took place two days into 16 Days of Activism.

“The gruesome nature of the death is heartbreaking. We need to ask ourselves what are we doing wrong?”

Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza said it was disheartening that while the country observed 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children, there were gruesome murders in the province.

Khoza siad “The police investigation should dig deeper on how this child went missing at his home while left in the care of his father. This is tragic and the family need to find closure”.