'Evil' mother, stepfather jailed for raping, murdering young daughter

2015-09-18 20:00

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Cape Town - A man convicted of the assault, rape and murder of his five-year-old stepdaughter was sentenced to life behind bars on Friday.

Lulama Qondani was sentenced to six years for the assault, life for rape and life for murder by Western Cape High Court Judge Monde Samela. The sentences will run concurrently. 

Qondani’s girlfriend Thumeka Thuswa, who is the child's biological mother, was convicted of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and was sentenced to 10 years, with four years suspended on condition that she did not get convicted in any case involving violence.  

"Qondani kicked the small child, [who weighed] 15kg, while wearing safety boots, resulting in lacerations on the girl's liver. She bled and the doctor who conducted the autopsy told the court she had found 1 000ml of blood in the child's stomach,” said National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila in a statement.

"The doctor's report indicated that the child was repeatedly abused and raped, leading to lacerations to her private parts, kidney infection and healing lacerations on the back of her heart, ribs and lungs."

The couple assaulted and killed the child in Robertson on February 1 2013.

Judge Samela told Qondani he was a "merciless man".

"She trusted you as a father figure, but you violated her in her own home. Instead of protecting her, you became an aggressor. 

"You boasted to be a religious man, [but] what kind of a religious man are you? You were not remorseful. You kept on laughing, making the whole thing a joke."

Samela told the girl’s mother that she had violated the trust her child had in her to satisfy her cohabiter. 

"You also kicked and assaulted your daughter all over her tiny body, beat her with a wet towel and threw stones [at] her. Both of you knew of the little girl's injuries, but you chose to ignore them.  

"This court was not happy with you. What sort of a mother are you? You ignored all signs of abuse just to please an evil boyfriend. Both of you are evil."

"We could not prove the charges of murder beyond reasonable doubt against the mother, but I'm satisfied with the sentence she received. This is one of the most difficult cases, emotionally, I have dealt with," prosecutor Ntsoaki Mabiletse said.

"I have driven to Kokstad twice looking for witnesses and interviewed them to ensure that this young girl will get justice.

"I am grateful to the doctors and police officers I have worked with to ensure that we successfully prosecuted this case and ensured that the perpetrators go to prison for a long time."

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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