Life sentence for man who killed boy, 2, who soiled himself

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A man from Mpumalanga was sentenced to life in prison for killing a 2-year-old boy.
A man from Mpumalanga was sentenced to life in prison for killing a 2-year-old boy.
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  • A Mpumalanga man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a toddler who had soiled himself.
  • The boy was tortured for 36 hours, burnt and beaten with a belt, tree branches and an electric cable.
  • He died under a blanket following the assault while his caretakers watched movies and attended a ceremony.


A man from Piet Retief in Mpumalanga has been sentenced to life in prison for torturing a 2-year-old boy for 36 hours – leading to his death – for soiling himself.

Boy Nhleko, 29, was sentenced by the Mpumalanga Division of the High Court sitting in Breyten near Ermelo on Monday.

Police spokesperson Colonel Donald Mdhluli said the child, Praise Zwane, was left in the care of Nhleko and his girlfriend, the boy's aunt, while his mother was working out of town.

The assault happened in October 2019. According to IOL, Nhleko beat the child with a belt, tree branches and later with an electric cable. He was also burnt with boiling water.

Instead of seeking medical care for the child, Nhleko and his lover left the child to die under a blanket while they watched movies and attended a traditional ceremony, Mdhluli said. They then buried him in a shallow grave.

"Nhleko and the boy's aunt left for the Kingdom of Eswatini, where he confided to his brother that he has committed an atrocious act in South Africa explaining all the details of events. His brother in turn felt compelled to report the matter to the police and Nhleko was ultimately arrested at Mahamba border as he was coming back to South Africa a week after the murder. During the investigation, Nhleko pointed out the place where he had buried the boy," Mdhluli said.

Nhleko was found to be unfit to possess a firearm and his name will be entered into the National Register for Sex Offenders.

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