‘Mommy, they threw petrol on me, they set me alight’

2013-04-17 13:17

The mother of a girl who died after an apparent satanic ritual broke down while testifying in the High Court sitting at the Palm Ridge Magistrates’ Court today.

Sylvia Theologo was the first witness to take the stand in the trial of the four people accused of setting her daughter alight in 2011.

Harvey Isha, Robin Harwood, Lindon Wagner and Courtney Daniels, who was a minor at the time, pleaded not guilty today to charges of murder, attempted murder, and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Kirsty Theologo (18) was doused with petrol and set alight on a hill behind the Linmeyer swimming pool south of Joburg. She died later in the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital. Another girl survived.

Wearing a white top and a thin silver scarf, Theologo told the court she was extremely nervous as she had not testified in court before.

Moving a white rosary from one hand to the other, she told the court the first time she saw her daughter after the attack, she was standing in her kitchen.

“She was standing with her back against me at the basin. She looked like when you are suntanning and the skin peels off ... She turned around and looked at me and her face was all burnt,” Thologo said, fighting back tears.

Her daughter’s nose was damaged, her lips were swollen, and there was a gash on her head.

Her daughter had looked at her and said: “Mommy, they threw petrol on me, they set me alight.”

Theologo broke down and the court adjourned to allow her time to compose herself.

As she was led out of court, she called to her family members to accompany her. “Come, come family members.”

The trial continues.

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