Muti murder: 2 get life sentences for killing 6-year-old

2014-03-08 09:42

A man and a woman found guilty of cutting up a six-year-old girl for muti before killing her were sentenced to life in prison by the Nelspruit Circuit of the North Gauteng High Court.

Stella Sibongile Zulu (25) and Sifiso Wonder Vilakazi (49), from Masibekela near Komatipoort, were convicted of murder and abduction, a Sapa correspondent reported yesterday.

The court found that they killed Dimakatso Shabangu, who went missing on April 21 2009. Her body was found floating in a river four days later.

“This was planned because you knew that you will benefit. The way the child was killed was horrific,” Judge Collin Lamont told Zulu and Vilakazi.

“I can see how the child felt when they removed her parts, while she was alive. You referred to it as [if] it was like a chicken the way she was cut.”

Lamont said photographic evidence of the crime was horrific.

He said Zulu’s description of the murder corresponded with everything in the postmortem, except for details about the child’s tongue, which she said was removed.

“The postmortem says how it all happened ... Private parts were removed but the tongue was not removed. It shows that she was cut between the legs and the stomach,” Lamont said.

He said animals and fish ate at the child’s body while it was floating in the river.

“They were doing it [cutting her] while she was alive. Four people were holding her, and one cutting her,” Lamont said.

“Her intestines were removed while she was being cut. It was not clear that you saw everything, but that does not mean this case has no weight.”

Prosecutor Sonja Ntuli asked the court to sentence the two to life imprisonment.

“I submit that the two accused must be sentenced to life. An innocent child was killed and she could have been alive if it was not for greed,” said Ntuli.

Lamont said Zulu’s R5 000 bail and Vilakazi’s R3 000 bail would be withdrawn, as they were now prisoners of the state.

He sentenced them each to life imprisonment for murder, and 15 years for abduction, which will run concurrently.

After sentencing, Zulu asked the court for mercy.

“I am very hurt. I also feel pain about this but I do not know anything about it. I ask the court to exercise mercy on me because I do not know anything,” she said.

Outside court, Dimakatso Shabangu’s mother, Goodness Sihle Mahlalela, said the two got what they deserved.

“I am feeling better with the judgment, but I wish ... the court [had] not acquitted the other accused,” she said.

On Wednesday, one of the accused, Thabile Mnisi (33) was acquitted because there was not enough evidence against her.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.