Sadia Sukhraj's murderer sentenced to life behind bars

2019-06-26 11:10
Sadia Sukhraj (Supplied)

Sadia Sukhraj (Supplied)

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Sibonelo Mkhize, the 39-year-old man found guilty of murdering 9-year-old Sadia Sukhraj, will spend the rest of his life in jail, the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban ruled on Tuesday.

Judge Esther Steyn sentenced Mkhize to 15 years in prison for robbery and life imprisonment for two counts of murder.

But Mkhize has indicated that he intends to apply for leave to appeal. 

In imposing the sentence, Steyn said Mkhize did not display any emotion.

"I have not heard any remorse from the accused. In these situations, even if an accused denies committing the crime, they still demonstrate remorse because someone had died and families have lost someone. It is not the case here."

Father's bullet

While it was Sadia's father's bullet that killed his daughter, Steyn found that the aggravated circumstances from the robbery left Mkhize liable for her murder and the death of his accomplice, Siyabonga Bulose.

Family members wept when an impact statement from Sadia's mother Lorraine was read out in court.

"I have constant flashbacks to that day. Every day I drop my son off at the same house, I see the same pavement, the same driveway. The flashbacks are so overwhelming on some days that I feel like I cannot breathe," the statement read. 

Sadia's father Shailendra took the stand and urged the court to impose a harsh sentence, saying that his daughter was an angel.

"I wish everyone here could have met her. She could have a conversation with adults and associate with people of all types."

Mkhize had pleaded not guilty to murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances. Bulose was killed while fleeing from the scene.

On the day of the incident, the two allegedly demanded car keys from Shailendra Sukhraj at gunpoint.

He threw the keys at them and while both were fleeing the scene with Sadia inside the vehicle. Shailendra then pulled out his licensed firearm and fired several gunshots toward 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.

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