15 years for killing epileptic daughter (7) ‘to save her’

2014-05-14 14:43

A 32-year-old Mpumalanga man has been sentenced to 15 years in jail for brutally murdering his seven-year-old epileptic daughter.

Sonnyboy Mnisi from KaMhlushwa near Malalane allegedly killed the girl when she had a seizure at his house on August 16 last year.

Mnisi told the Nelspruit Circuit Court he had killed little Ayanda, a Grade 1 pupil, because he wanted to save her from her condition.

Mnisi confessed in a statement that he had hit her head against a cement floor and throttled her in his bedroom. He, however, did not plead guilty to additional counts of raping and sodomising the child, but a doctor’s report found that she had been penetrated.

Ayanda was staying with her grandmother (Mnisi’s mother) in Boschfontein as her mother died in 2008. Mnisi fetched her to visit him, only to kill her at around 1am.

Judge Ebenhaezer Jordaan described the assault as “brutal”.

“I can’t find that the murder was pre-planned. As to the nature of the offence, it was a brutal assault on a seven-year-old child. He hit her [head] on a cement floor and throttled her, which was confirmed by his plea and medical evidence,” Jordaan said.

Mnisi phoned his mother and informed her of what had happened after the incident, but he left his house, with the doors open, and the girl lying on his bedroom floor. He was emotional and crying when relatives found him, and he apologised.

Jordaan sentenced Mnisi to three years for the rape counts but Mnisi’s lawyer, Advocate Nico du Plessis, successfully applied for leave to appeal this sentence, which Jordaan granted.

Mnisi denied raping the girl and the court could not determine if Ayanda had been raped while still alive or after she had died.

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