Domestic worker’s conviction confirmed

2010-05-05 00:00

HIGH court judges of appeal in ­Pietermaritzburg yesterday confirmed the robbery conviction and eight-year jail sentence imposed on former domestic worker Happiness Dudu Sikakhane, who helped commit a robbery at her Durban North employer’s home in July 2008.

According to evidence led at her trial in Durban, Sikakhane and her cousin, John, who worked as gardener at the property, were both involved in the R565 000 robbery at the home of Selvarani Moodley on July 24, 2008. They took valuable items of jewellery, U.S. dollars, clothing and a car.

Judge Wendy Hughes-Madondo with Judge Malcolm Wallis yesterday rejected submissions that Sikakhane was not involved in the robbery and commented that she had made no effort to call the police or press a panic button when she had opportunity to do so, according to her own version of events.

Immediately after the robbery she vanished with the robbers and her room was found to have been cleared out completely. All her cosmetics, clothing and goods were gone.

Another factor pointing to her involvement was that the robbers allowed her to leave the kitchen while they were holding her employer captive with a sickle at her throat, without making any attempt to stop her.

The appeal court found that Sikakhane’s evidence at her trial had been “so riddled with improbabilities” and contradictions that it could not possibly be true.

On the other hand, the court found Moodley’s testimony to be clear and satisfactory.

According to Moodley’s evidence, her daughter had fallen asleep upstairs and she had left her ill three-year-old son in Sikakhane’s care in the kitchen while she fetched medication and water from the scullery.

There she was confronted by two men, one of whom held a sickle to her throat. The men met up with the gardener, John, and all of them returned to the kitchen.

Moodley agreed to hand over money and jewellery to the robbers. At that point, Sikakhane left the kitchen and Moodley did not see her again.

Once they had taken the jewellery, Moodley was left tied to a chair downstairs and her two children were brought there. While trying to keep them calm, she could hear the intruders ransacking the house.

When everything was quiet, she managed to free herself, locked the doors and pressed a panic button. She discovered the phone lines had been cut.

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.