‘Completely despicable’

2011-11-07 00:00

A HARDING father of three pleaded guilty on Friday to raping and murdering a four-year-old child by throttling her to death to stop her screaming in pain.

High court Judge Isaac Madondo described the case as one of the worst he had presided over.

He sentence Elphas Sigwebela to life imprisonment, telling him that his actions were “completely despicable”.

The child he raped and killed was of similar age to one of his three children.

He had brought shame on his children and his wife, said the judge.

Sigwebela pleaded guilty to the rape and murder of four-year-old Vuyiseka Mgugulo at Jali in the Harding district on August 26.

He said in a statement read to court by his legal aid attorney, Ishi Khan, that he was at home drinking beer that day when the child’s grandmother, Sesina Mgugulo, came to visit his mother. The child was with her.

Sigwebela said he lived in a room next to his mother’s house.

The two women went inside while the child remained outside to play in the yard.

“While I was watching the deceased playing in the yard I was overcome by lust.

“I was aware that the deceased’s grandmother and my mother were deep in conversation and neither of them was paying any attention to the deceased. I called the deceased and I took her into my room.”

While he was raping the child she began to scream and he put his hands around her throat and throttled her to stop her screaming.

When he finished raping her he discovered she was dead.

He concealed her naked body under his bed, got dressed and left his room.

The body was found later that day when neighbours searched for the missing child.

Medical evidence showed the little girl died of a broken neck as a result of being throttled.

Judge Madondo said Sigwebela is a danger to society.

ingrido@witness.co.za

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