A closeup of the lock of a brick jail cell with iron bars and a key in the locking mechanism with the door open

A woman convicted for watching her injured and helpless child plead for help while being assaulted by her lover has been sentenced to life imprisonment.

Itumeleng Telekwa‚ 26‚ and her lover‚ Charles Monare‚ 32‚ were both each sentenced to an effective life term by Judge Isabel Mlaba in the South Gauteng High Court sitting in Palm Ridge on Tuesday.

 “He had abused the deceased constantly by beating her up. Her mother deliberately ignored the child. She failed to protect the child and instead protected Monare from being arrested.

“She claimed Monare was providing for her and her children financially after a case (of assault) was opened against him‚” Mlaba said.

She blamed Telekwa‚ police and the community of Rockville for allowing Telekwa to withdraw charges laid by her sister Mpho Telekwa against Monare prior to him killing her child.

State prosecutor Arveena Persad told the court how little Neo Telekwa‚ 4‚ was viciously assaulted by her stepfather while her mother was away at work on August 30 2013 in their shack in Rockville‚ Soweto.

She said Monare physically abused Neo for approximately a year until he finally killed her.

“These offences are prevalent in this country. Hope is where there is home. For Neo there was despair‚ fear and doom. There was no way out for Neo. She could not protect and defend herself.

“Every person has a right to life. Neo was deprived of the right to life. The little child was abused in front of people. It is the national agenda to protect our children. Neo was entitled to that right.

“They were merciless‚ cold‚ brazen‚ humiliating‚ inhumane‚ callous and their behaviour was shocking. She was an innocent child who was constantly beaten by Monare. Her death was a slow death‚ her suffering was long. She was left on the bed to die‚” she said.