'I have constant flashbacks to that day' - Lorraine Sukhraj on the death of her daughter Sadia

2019-06-25 15:34
The family of Sadia Sukhraj in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

The family of Sadia Sukhraj in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

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It was a morning of tears and heartache for the family of Sadia Sukhraj, as the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban heard details of the nine-year-old's life and the tragic day she was killed.

Lorraine Sukhraj's impact statement was heard in court on Tuesday while her husband Shailendra took the stand, calling for a maximum sentence for the 39-year-old Sibonelo Mkhize, the sole surviving accused in the matter.

"I have constant flashbacks to that day. Every day I drop my son off, I see the same pavement, the same driveway. The flashbacks are so overwhelming on some days that I feel like I cannot breath," the grieving mother said in a statement, which was read out by State prosecutor Kelvin Singh.

She added: "How do I, as a mother, begin to explain the loss of my little girl? I cannot explain the great joy she brought to our lives. To have her taken from us is heart-breaking."

She said memories of her daughter were all around their modest Shallcross home.

"We were blessed with Sadia. She was a very kind-natured child who had empathy for others at a young age. She was never demanding and never nagged anyone. She was grateful for even the smallest gift she received. She appreciated everything."

'No remorse' from Mkhize

Sadia's father Shailendra tearfully took the witness stand and demanded "the maximum sentence" for Mkhize.

"She was an A-student, she was brilliant, intelligent and understanding. As a father I feel within myself that this child was robbed of her dignity. She could have impacted this country in a positive way."

He said her death was a "colossal loss" to his family.

"How do you replace someone of this calibre?"

In his closing statement, Singh said the State had noted that Mkhize showed no regret for his actions.

"He was a primary figure, he was armed. He threatened the family. Yet, there is not an iota of remorse from the accused. He could have at least said he feels sorry for the loss the family suffered, but nothing."

He said that Mkhize's demeanour in court, which has often been emotionless, proved he was incapable of rehabilitation.

Judgment expected Wednesday

Mkhize was found guilty of all charges on Monday, including murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

While it was Sadia's father's bullet that killed his daughter, Judge Esther Steyn found that the aggravated circumstances from the robbery left Mkhize liable for murder.

On the day of the incident, Mkhize and Siyabonga Bulose allegedly demanded car keys from Sadia's father at gunpoint. He threw the keys at them. While both were fleeing the scene with Sadia inside the vehicle, Sadia's father pulled out his licensed firearm and fired several gunshots at the driver.

The Grade 4 pupil at Everest Primary was shot in her abdomen and was taken to Chatsmed Hospital, where she later succumbed to her injuries.

Her cause of death was a gunshot wound to the chest. Bulose died immediately after the car came to a stop. His cause of death was described as a penetrating gunshot wound to the pelvis.

Judgment is expected to be handed down on Wednesday.

Read more on:    durban  |  courts  |  crime
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