Phiyega welcomes Diepsloot child killer's sentence

2014-10-29 13:46
National police commissioner Riah Phiyega. (File: Sapa)

National police commissioner Riah Phiyega. (File: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - National police commissioner Riah Phiyega on Wednesday welcomed the sentence handed to Diepsloot child rapist and killer Ntokozo Hadebe.

"The Diepsloot community will be much safer with the accused jailed," she said in a statement. North High Court in Pretoria Judge Nico Coetzee sentenced Hadebe to nine life terms and 15 years' imprisonment for three murders, six rapes, and three kidnappings.

In September 2013 he murdered Anelisa Mkhonto, aged 5. The next month he murdered Yonelisa Mali, aged 2, and her cousin Zandile, aged 3, in Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg.

"We want to thank the team of investigators who have worked tirelessly around the clock until the arrest of Ntokozo," Phiyega said.

"We will also not forget to thank the members of the community who assisted with information that led to the arrest of the suspect at the time."

Earlier applause erupted in the high court as Coetzee read out the sentence.

Hadebe gestured angrily at the judge and repeatedly said "fuck you" before being led down to the cells under the court.

Diepsloot residents expressed satisfaction with Hadebe's sentence while chanting and singing outside the court.

Hadebe’s name would be entered on the national sex offenders' register.

The court found that he lured the little girls from their Diepsloot homes and took them to his shack, where he raped them before suffocating or strangling them.

He left Anelisa's body at a nearby rubbish dumb, with a plastic bag tied over her head, and the bodies of the cousins in a public toilet.

Coetzee said Hadebe acted like an "animal", or possibly even worse, and the punishment had to fit the crime.

Hadebe testified in mitigation that he "was not well in the head" and became "insane" when he started drinking in 2005.

In the interest of society

Coetzee said he was clearly not insane as he was obviously able to follow proceedings and make a meaningful contribution to the trial.

"The accused deprived these three children, who had a whole life to live before them, from the pleasure of living.

"He deprived Anelisa's grandmother and Yonelisa and Zandile's mothers from the pleasure of caring for them, loving them, and leading them to adulthood," he said.

Anelisa's grandmother was so shocked when she heard the news that she lost consciousness. Yonelisa's pregnant mother had to be hospitalised and their deaths devastated their families.

Coetzee said the children were still alive when Hadebe raped them and they must have suffered intense pain.

Two pathologists testified that the children had such severe genital injuries they would have needed reconstructive surgery, had they survived.

Coetzee said it was clear Hadebe was sober and in his right mind when he committed the crimes.

"The interest of society demand that he must be harshly punished. A clear message must be sent out to would-be murderers and rapists that such atrocious conduct will not be tolerated.

"The accused shows no remorse for what he's done. He persists a defence which is clearly false. He refuses to take responsibility for his deeds.

"This is totally unacceptable to members of the Diepsloot community. The community expect from this court that it impose a sentence which will protect their children against persons such as the accused," Coetzee said.

For the first time since the trial started Anelisa's grandmother Bongiwe Mcubuse managed to smile. She said she was satisfied with the sentence but would never be able to forgive him.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Nathi Mncube said Hadebe did not deserve to be called a human being.

"We need to send a clear message that this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated," he added.

Read more on:    riah phiyega  |  johannesburg  |  crime  |  child abuse

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