The Mdantsane Regional Court in South Africa has sentenced one Siphelo Melfin to 20 years in prison for murdering his 5-year-old stepdaughter, while his wife Nosikhumbuzo Mabusela, the mother of the girl also bagged three years’ imprisonment for conspiring to bury her child secretly. The sentences will run concurrently.
According to reports, Siphelo was with the deceased mother when he noticed that the girl [Kungawo] had soiled herself. He became angry and began to beat her. Kungawo was badly beaten until she became unconscious and died.
After they noticed that little girl was dead she was immediately wrapped up in a blanket by her stepfather, who secretly buried her in her 76-year-old step grandmother’s garden.
Siphelo’s mother’s who was aware of the incident advised them to keep it secret. However, the crime came to light a month later when the police were alerted. They came and found the body of the 5-year-old lying in a shallow grave in Potsdam, a city in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa.
Magistrate Bulelwa Gixana who presided over the case described the crime as gruesome.
In her words, she said:
“A child soiling herself is part of growing up and can’t be her signing her own death warrant. She died a gruesome death at the hands of the people who were supposed to love and nurture her. I can just imagine her screams and million apologies she made and the extreme pain she was in before she died at such a tender age.“
“In my opinion that was cruelty at its worst. More heinous was the fact that you tried to hide your gruesome act. Had it not been for the vigilance of the community members and neighbours, you would have got away with murder.”
Confirming the sentencing, Port Elizabeth National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Tsepo Ndwalaza said Mabusela other two children ( eight and eleven) have since been taken to a place of safety.