Reiger Park toddler's alleged killer back in court

2015-05-14 05:27

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Johannesburg - The trial of Nathaniel Katlego Mpoku, accused of kidnapping and murdering toddler Cuburne van Wyk, will continue in a Johannesburg court on Thursday.

The police officer who first took the exhibits at the scene was expected to testify.

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.

On Tuesday, investigating officer Captain Phillip Radebe, testified in the High Court in Johannesburg in Palm Ridge, that three DNA swabs were taken from the crime scene.

One was from Cuburne's parents so that the toddler could be identified, the second was from Mpoku, and the third from the jersey found with Cuburne at the time his body was discovered on August 9.

Mpoku's DNA was not found on the jersey.

It emerged that Radebe had to go back to where the toddler's body was found on August 14 so photos and additional exhibits could be taken.

Radebe told the court that when the case was handed to him on August 11, he saw that more investigation was required.

He requested that a fellow police officer accompany him to the scene so that additional pictures and swabs could be taken.

Forensic pathologist Dr Akmal Khan told the court that Cuburne died as a result of both strangulation and being burnt alive.

Haemorrhages to the muscles around the neck, ligature marks to the neck caused by the jersey, and haemorrhages to the saliva glands just underneath Cuburne's jaw were found by Khan during his autopsy.

These injuries, combined with the burn injuries and black soot found in Cuburne's airways, pointed to him suffering from both forms of death.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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