Man sorry for raping, killing boy

2011-07-23 00:00

A 26-YEAR-OLD man, Sibonelo Sogininda, was sentenced to life plus 15 years’ imprisonment yesterday for raping a four-year-old boy in Woodlands, Pietermaritzburg, and for “negligently” smothering the child to death by placing his hand over his mouth to stop him screaming.

Sogininda pleaded guilty to rape and culpable homicide charges arising from the death of little Wandile Ngcobo last Sunday evening.

In a statement to court, Sogininda said that the boy fell asleep on his bed while watching television in his room. While lying next to him he became aroused and raped the boy, who woke up and began to scream.

“I placed my right hand on the deceased’s back to prevent him turning over while I used my left hand to cover his mouth to silence him.”

He said the that child initially resisted but then stopped. After having intercourse with the boy he became aware that he was no longer conscious and he fled the room.

He later found out that the boy had suffocated and died.

Giving evidence in mitigation of sentence before Judge Jerome Mnguni yesterday, Sogininda apologised to the community and the child’s family.

“What I did was so wrong and their hearts are so sore at what I have done,” he said.

Asked by his legal aid attorney, Ishi Khan, if he wanted to make any submissions with regard to his sentence, Sogininda responded, “There is nothing I can say that will change the situation. I will take it as it comes and accept punishment for my mistakes.”

The public gallery of the high court was packed with members of the Woodlands community who were outraged by the incident.

The boy’s Aunt, Zibuyile Maphanga, with whom he was living at the time of his death, said she was happy at the sentence Sogininda got as she would never have to see him again.

She thanked the community for their support. She said her brother, Wandile’s father, died in April this year.

Vincent Myeni, a community leader in Woodlands, thanked the community for providing the police with information that helped to arrest Sogininda a day after the incident, and praised the work of investigating officer Warrant Officer Sizwe Aubrey Makhathini and his team.

“The community is satisfied with the sentences imposed, but they are not celebrating because nothing can justify the loss of life of this child,” said Myeni.

In her submissions to the court prior to sentencing, state advocate Candy Kander described Sogininda’s actions as “perverse, vile and depraved”.

She said that society has to be protected from someone like Sogininda, who became sexually aroused by a sleeping four-year-old boy.

Kander said that child abuse is becoming increasingly prevalent.

It was also aggravating in this case that the boy had been fond of Sogininda, who used to play with him, and that the child and his family trusted Sogininda with him.

Though from Mpophomeni near Howick, Sogininda was renting a room in Woodlands to be near to his work at the time of the incident.

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