'Uyathandwa was like a flower', says tearful grandmother after court orders psychiatric evaluation for accused

2018-07-26 13:22
Uyathandwa Stuurman's grandmother Noluthando Manyafane appeared heartbroken and was comforted by friends and family. (Christina Pitt, News24)

Uyathandwa Stuurman's grandmother Noluthando Manyafane appeared heartbroken and was comforted by friends and family. (Christina Pitt, News24)

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WATCH: Maybe she was calling our names while this was happening to her - grieving uncle

2018-07-25 16:10

Grieving after his niece's rape and murder, Uyathandwa Stuurman's uncle Daniel Mvula told News24 of the family's 'devastating' loss. Watch.WATCH

Members of the community sobbed in the public gallery of the Khayelitsha Magistrate's Court on Thursday, as they heard details of five-year-old Uyathandwa Stuurman's murder.

In the dock for the murder was Andile Gamda. It is alleged that he lured the little girl into his shack and attempted to rape her.

When he was unable to penetrate her, he allegedly tied her up before fetching a knife from his neighbour.

He then slit Stuurman's throat, put her body in a wheelie bin and then dumped it on a nearby field, the State has alleged.

On his return, members of the community allegedly saw blood on his trousers and more blood was allegedly discovered inside his shack.

One of Stuurman's flip flops and a bloody T-shirt were discovered at the scene of the murder.

READ: Man nabbed for rape, murder of Khayelitsha girl, 5, is known to family

Stuurman's grandmother Noluthando Manyafane appeared heartbroken and was comforted by friends and family throughout the court proceedings.

Prosecutor Andrew Edem told the court that the accused had confessed to the murder.

However, a district surgeon found that Gamda was mentally unfit to confess before undergoing a psychiatric evaluation.

Gamda had been previously diagnosed with psychosis at Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital.

Magistrate Vernon Jantjies postponed Gamda's bail application to August 23 to allow a psychiatric observation.

'She was like a flower to us'

Manyafane told News24 that seeing the accused in court had deeply upset her.

"I'm very hurt because she was my first granddaughter and she was very special," she said.

"She was like a flower to us because I only have three boys."

Outside the court a large crowd protested. 

The Harare Community Policing Forum in Khayelitsha passed around a petition demanding that Gamda be denied bail.

"The community wants to be protected against similar horrific crimes by the accused," read the forum's statement.

A group of women outside the court held up placards bearing the words: "Protect children's rights". They sang a rendition of the anti-apartheid song "Senzenina?".

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