Judgment day for toddler murder accused

2015-05-21 05:40

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Johannesburg - The man accused of killing Reiger Park toddler Cuburne van Wyk will hear his fate when the Johannesburg High Court, sitting at the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court hands down judgment on Thursday.

Closing arguments in the case were heard earlier this week.

Nathaniel Katlego Mpoku also known as "Chicken", is accused of kidnapping and killing Cuburne in an informal settlement in Reiger Park, Ekurhuleni, in August last year. The toddler disappeared on August 6 while playing outside with his siblings.

His body was discovered by a passer-by at a mine dump in Reiger Park three days later.

Mpoku had told the court that he had left Van Wyk in a street where other boys were playing near the soccer field where the three-year-old was last seen.

He said this happened around 13:30. However, a witness on told the court that they saw the toddler with Mpoku in the vicinity of the field at around 16:30.

The State reportedly told the court that Mpoku changed his account of how Van Wyk had apparently followed him, asking for biscuits, before the toddler disappeared.

Last week, forensic pathologist Dr Akmal Khan told the court that Van Wyk died as a result of strangulation and being burnt alive, with both events either happening simultaneously or very close to one another.

Khan said that tests conducted on a rock found on the child's body, and on a jersey thought to have been used to strangle him, did not match Mpoku's DNA.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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