KZN man gets suspended sentence for toddler’s death

2011-07-12 14:26

A KwaZulu-Natal man was given a suspended jail sentence today after accidentally causing the death of his three-year-old nephew and hiding his body for six months.

The Pietermaritzburg Regional Court sentenced Simphiwe Zondi, 19, to five years in prison, suspended for five years.

Zondi told the court while he was swinging little Mcebisi Zondi round by his hands, his grip slipped and the boy’s head struck a wall, leaving him still.

He said he panicked and hid the body in a box.

Zondi, who was initially charged with murder, tendered a plea of culpable homicide, which prosecutor Prinisha Kasool accepted.

Police, relatives and friends have been searching for the toddler since May until Saturday, when his body was found when a smell of decay came from a box hidden in a cupboard in a neighbour’s outbuilding.

The body was too decayed to ascertain the cause of death.

Magistrate Paul Ableman said that Zondi’s panic did not indicate that he deliberately caused the child’s death.

It was an unfortunate accident in the litany of human tragedy. He said imprisonment was not a suitable punishment.

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