Cape Town - Mere days after the tenth anniversary of the murder of baby Jordan Leigh Norton, two of the infant’s murderers’ parole applications were denied.
A year after first being informed of the two inmates’ bid for freedom after serving two thirds of their sentence, the Norton family say they can finally put their anxiety to bed.
Zanethemba Gwada and Bonginkosi Sigenu’s bail applications were dismissed at a hearing at the Drakenstein Prison in Paarl on Wednesday.
Grandfather Vernon Norton told News24 that he and his family were pleased with the ruling.
“Our family has been under tremendous strain since we were informed of the parole bid,” he said.
“I am grateful we had the opportunity to speak at the hearing about our feelings on the application and how what happened impacted our lives. The decision is a victory.”
Jordan was killed in her grandparents’ Lansdowne home on June 15 2005. Monday marked the 10th anniversary of her death.
The two were jailed along with mastermind Dina Rodrigues, Sipho Mfazwe and Mongezi Bobotyane for the murder. They are serving life sentences for the murder of the baby, who was stabbed in the neck.
The men were paid R10 000 for the hit after Rodrigues approached them at a taxi rank.
The four men hit the family’s home and killed the baby during a supposed robbery. They gained access by claiming to be from a courier company.
Mfazwe and Bobotyane were handed a further 10 years for armed robbery.
At the hearing on Wednesday, officials informed the parole board and the victims’ loved ones of the various programmes in which Gwada and Sigenu were taking part, including anger management classes.
Their behaviour had apparently also been acceptable, although Sigenu is understood to have had four minor misconduct issues during his sentence.
But Norton maintained that the two should complete their sentence.
He previously told News24 the hitmen don’t deserve early release owing to the severity of the crime.
Norton said the past year had been tough on Jordan’s mother Natasha, who no longer lives in Cape Town.
“Emotionally she is not in a good space. This application has reopened the wounds and took us back to 2005,” he said.
But Norton said the family, who still commemorate the baby’s birthday on November 30 every year, is glad that sharing the pain they have been through over the past decade resulted in the duo remaining behind bars.
Department of Correctional Services spokesperson Simphiwe Xako confirmed the two inmates would again appear before the parole board a year from now for further profiling.