Campaign launched after Baby Jordan killers apply for parole

2015-05-23 20:28
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Cape Town - Support is expected to stream in via letters and social media as the family of baby Jordan Leigh Norton head to court to contest the parole application of two of the men imprisoned for her 2005 murder.

Zanethemba Gwada and Bonginkose Sigenu’s application will be heard in a Paarl court on Wednesday, June 17.

The duo - together with mastermind Dina Rodriques, Sipho Mfazwe and Mongezi Bobotyane - were found guilty of the baby’s murder in a trial that sparked national outrage.

After a 15-month-long trial, Rodrigues, Mfazwe and Bobotyane were sentenced to life behind bars. The two men were also sentenced to a further 10 years for armed robbery.

Gwada and Sigenu were handed jail terms of 15 years for their part in the murder and robbery.

But the Norton family plans to make a concerted effort to ensure the two are not given parole after only a decade behind bars.

‘They took a baby’s life’

Baby Jordan’s grandfather Vernon told News24 that the hitmen don’t deserve early release.

“The fact that they are still alive is their second chance. These men did not steal a car or take a TV – they took a baby’s life,” he said.

“The personal and emotional trauma we have been through is indescribable. They will one day get to walk out of prison and live their lives. We will never get Jordan back.”

Support for the Nortons has come from as far as Germany and Qatar.

The infant’s murder, committed in the family’s Lansdowne home in June 2005, shocked the country.

Rodrigues conviction

Rodrigues was convicted of hiring the four men, whom she met at a taxi rank and paid R10 000 for the hit.

Jordan was the daughter of Natasha Norton and Neil Wilson, who was Rodrigues’s boyfriend.

A Facebook fan page created to encourage the public to comment on why the two should remain behind bars was created on Friday. By Saturday, the campaign had already garnered over 2 000 likes.

According to a status update by the page administrator, identified as a friend of the family, the public is urged to submit in writing to reasons why they believe the two murderers’ parole should be denied.

“It can be anything from one sentence on your safety concerns through to a full page on how you believe incidents such as this have or will affect you and your loved ones,” it reads. “Every email and comment will make the Norton's case stronger.”

The letters will be compiled and presented during the parole process.

Raw pain

Vernon admits while 10 years had passed since his granddaughter’s murder, their pain remains raw.

This campaign, he said, is not only for his family, but also for other children who have been hurt or killed.

“The amazing response we have received is indicative of how society feels about those who prey on the defenceless. This is for everyone from Constantia to Khayelitsha.

“No consideration for early parole should be given to the kind of people who commit this type of crime. Their victims aren’t able to get those second chances – why should they?”

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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