Minentle’s injuries rattles judge

2018-05-31 06:01
Minentle Lekhatha’s father could not contain himself when his daughter’s lifeless body was found in June last year.PHOTO: VELANI lUDIDI

Minentle Lekhatha’s father could not contain himself when his daughter’s lifeless body was found in June last year.PHOTO: VELANI lUDIDI

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The case of man accused of murdering five-year-old Minentle Lekhatha continued in the Western Cape High Court this week, with a pathologist taking the witness stand.

Dr Bronwyn Inglis gave graphic evidence about the extent of the injuries sustained by the little girl when she was allegedly murdered by Xolani Lantu.

Judge Derek Willie adjourned the sitting so he could compose himself after the gruesome details were revealed in Inglis’ description of events.

She told the court of the blood from wounds on the little girl’s private parts, as well as bruises to her neck.

Inglis said she could not determine the exact amount of pressure applied to her body, although the force applied was extensive.

“There were also bruises on her chin and shoulders, and a pathologist found blood [around] the heart of the deceased,” the pathologist told the court.

“There were also injuries on the body that suggest the deceased may have been bitten by animal(s).”

The judge kept on covering his face as the pathologist gave her report.

On Monday 21 May, the 36-year-old Lantu pleaded guilty on all charges of kidnapping, two counts of rape and the murder of the toddler on Saturday 3 June last year.

The little girl went missing during Child Protection Week and her lifeless body was found under a bridge in Broadway Boulevard, Strand, not far from her Nomzamo home, on Sunday 4 June.

In an affidavit to the court, Lantu alleged that he was in a relationship with Minentle’s grandmother, Thelma Bomela, and was angry when she became involved with someone else.

Arguments in the case have now been concluded. Lantu will know his fate next Wednesday (6 June), the judge announced on Monday.

The family declined all interviews with the media.

Last year, during Lantu’s appearance in Strand Magistrate’s Court, one of the family members destroyed the cellphone of someone who was recording Bomela’s collapse in court.

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