A fresh appeal was issued today after an inquest failed to establish the cause of death of a 15-year-old girl whose body was found at a beauty spot three years ago.

An open verdict was recorded today on the death of tragic Nobantu Zani, whose body was found on moorland at Bingley.

The South African-born schoolgirl, who came to Bradford after her freedom fighting father was gunned down in 1985, was found dead with her chiffon scarf tied round her neck.

A lengthy murder investigation failed to track down her killer and at her inquest today, Bradford coroner Roger Whittaker said there was not enough evidence to record a verdict of unlawful killing.

He said: "Sadly the only verdict that can be reached is an open verdict, unless further evidence comes to light it's unlikely this matter will be reviewed.

"One can only begin to imagine the anguish felt by the relatives of this young lady, who are now faced with an indeterminate verdict."

Nobantu, known as Mandy, who was 15 and attended Buttershaw Upper School, lived at Dirkhill Road in Bradford with her mother, Mercy.

She was last seen alive at a party in Manningham on September 16, 1995 and pathologists believe she died some time between then and September 20.

The body was found at Druid's Altar, St Ives, Bingley on September 30 crudely covered with branches.

Because of decomposition to the body, pathologists have struggled to determine the cause of death.

Dr Christopher Milroy, Home Office pathologist, told the inquest that he still believed her death was due to strangulation with a ligature, but there were two other possible causes he could not rule out. She may have died of alcohol intoxication, or of a head injury - either accidental or deliberate. The decomposition of the body meant he could not be sure.

Detective Superintendent Tony Whittle, who led the murder hunt and who gave evidence to the hearing, but is now retired, said: "Nobantu was a gregarious, bubbly girl. It's particularly sad that the family, who came to England in such tragic circumstances, have suffered a further tragedy - and that we're not able to offer Nobantu's family any kind of explanation as to how and where she died."

Mandy was known to frequent amusement arcades and cafes in the Manningham and Bradford city centre areas and police inquiries initially focused on her friends and acquaintances - particularly revellers at the party where she was last seen alive.

Eventually all fruitful lines of inquiry were exhausted and the incident room was closed, said Det Supt Whittle, adding that the inquiry would always remain open and police would always want to hear fresh information.

Mandy's father Thami Zani was shot dead while an active member of the Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC) which fought alongside Nelson Mandela's ANC against the apartheid government.

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