Jailed for niece’s rape and murder

2010-02-25 00:00

AN Inchanga man who raped and murdered his seven-year-old niece in order to “hurt” his mother was given two life sentences for his “horrendous” crimes by the high court in Pietermaritzburg yesterday.

Judge Wendy Hughes-Madondo said that in the court’s view there is no prospect that the killer, Simphiwe Maxwell Ndlovu, can be rehabilitated.

“If you could do what you did to a member of your own family, imagine what you could do to an innocent child you do not know,” she said.

The judge said it was sad that Ndlovu would live out his life, albeit behind bars, while his victim would not grow up to be a woman and reach her full potential.

She said the manner in which Ndlovu sought revenge against his mother showed he is cruel, heartless and callous.

The judge rejected submissions by Ndlovu’s legal aid attorney, Ishi Khan, that Ndlovu’s plea of guilty is an indication of remorse.

She refused an application by Ndlovu for leave to appeal against his life senten­ces.

The judge said that after he raped and murdered his niece, Lihle Mlaba, on May 26 last year, Ndlovu went home to collect his clothes.

There he told his brother what he had done and where he had left the child’s body. He warned his brother he was “not finished”. He then wrote a letter to the family telling them the same thing.

According to state advocate Candy Kander, there was DNA evidence linking Ndlovu to the crimes, and a witness had seen him in the area where the victim was raped and murdered.

On the day after the murder, Ndlovu was due to appear in court for violating an interdict obtained against him by his own mother.

In a statement to the court when he pleaded guilty, Ndlovu said he tried to assault his mo­ther during a confrontation, but she fled and locked herself in a room.

Being aware he could not hurt her while she was locked in the room, he resolved to kill his niece (the daughter of his late sister) who was, for his mother, the “apple of her eye”.

He waited for his niece at her school and told her he was taking her home. On the way he took her into the bush, saying he had to rest.There he raped her and then throttled her and hit her head against the trunk of a tree, killing her.

As he left the dock after being sentenced yesterday, Ndlovu waved to family members in the public gallery and apologised to his mother.

His family expressed satisfaction with the sentences imposed on him.

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