Family vows to get justice for son’s death

Cody will be remembered as a glamour boy. He loved dressing and was pedantic about his look


STILL battling to come to terms with the loss of their 19-year-old son, a Bluff family has vowed to do whatever it takes to get justice for Cody.

On the night of 24 February, Cody Houghton went out to meet with some friends – and his family never saw him alive again.

He was found dead on the morning of 25 February, but the circumstances surrounding his death have been something the family have had to piece together.

His mother Chantal Houghton will cherish the memories she holds of her eldest son. “He was an anomaly. To me he was an introvert and very quiet, but he was opinionated and never shied from speaking up when he felt passionately about something,” said Chantal. “He was a quiet boy, but we had a special bond with him as my first grandchild,” said Cody’s grandmother. “He had a difficult birth and was premature.”

He had a troubled schooling career and failed grade 10. In August 2016 his mother removed him from school when she realised he wasn’t making a success of it. In November he began working part-time and was turning things around. He was set to study this year in his field of work and was excited about his future.

It is understood Cody and two other boys were accused of the theft of a mobile phone from a Bluff tattoo parlour, and were allegedly forced into the shop by four men. The youngsters were tied up, assaulted and forced to drink unknown drugs. One of four men implicated in his death allegedly exposed his genitals while another brandished a sword.

While Chantal and her two younger children were at a petrol station the next morning, she received a phone call to say two boys were at her house, saying they had found Cody and he was battling to breathe. “When I arrived at the house where Cody was, I could see my son lying by the doorway. His lips were blue. I touched him and he was freezing cold; he wasn’t breathing. I could see he had stopped breathing a while ago.”

Cody was rushed to the medical centre but “he was already gone before we arrived”. He died of a blow to the head.

She said there were bruises and wounds on his face but it looked like he had been cleaned up.

Four men were arrested and appeared in court on Wednesday, 1 March on a charge of murder, two counts of attempted murder and three counts of kidnapping. They are granted bail and will re-appear in court on 23 June.

“We have received so much of support from people,” said Chantal. “There is such a loving, family spirit on the Bluff and people from the outside will not come and destroy that through acts like this,” said Cody’s grandmother.

“We have to stand together and make sure no other family suffers like we have,” said Chantal.

Cody will be remembered as a glamour boy. He loved dressing and was pedantic about his look. He loved his friends and cars and had a special place in his heart for his younger brother and sister, whom he doted on and who are having to learn to navigate life without their older sibling.


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Erin Hanekom

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