The family of a six-year-old girl who was killed, allegedly by a 60-year-old family friend, is demanding justice.
The family, who are currently arranging Mbali Mkhize’s funeral, could not make it to court on Friday.
Family spokesperson Calvin Makgeru denied earlier reports that Mbali’s 22-year-old mother Nomcebo Mkhize was dating the man who had allegedly killed her child.
“That thing is a lie. Mkhize and the suspect knew each because the suspect was her brother’s friend,” said Makgeru.
He said the man was very close to the entire family, including young children.
“He would visit them daily, as he was close to Mbali’s uncle. The family trusted him a lot and he was almost like one of them. He would buy little children sweets and other stuff.
“What he did, he has betrayed our trust and doesn’t deserve to live among people. He must go to jail and not come back,” said Makgeru.
Mbali disappeared on Saturday afternoon allegedly in the company of George Shapo, 60.
She was reported missing at a local police station after failing to return home.
Her body was found in a stream of water in the area on Monday, after Shapo had allegedly confessed to killing her.
Shapo made his first appearance in the Soshanguve Magistrate’s Court on Friday, facing a charge of murder.
Shapo, who was wearing dirty black short pants and a black jacket, appeared confused in court. It took him time to reveal the records of his previous conviction.
He eventually told the court that had been convicted of stealing a car and sentenced to 12 years in jail in 1980. He, however, only served 10 years before being released on parole.
In 1990, when he was released, Shapo was convicted of murder and sentenced to 25 years in jail. He was released on parole in 2012.
He is expected back in court on January 3 next year.
Ward councillor Elisa Mlotshwa, who was in court with other ANC members, promised that they would continue supporting the family and would ensure that justice was served.
“We are hurt as the community after what Shapo has done. We don’t want him back. He must stay in jail where he belongs.
“Our children are not safe when he is around. He is a danger to society and the court must ensure that he must rot in jail. He has a previous record of murder and was thrown into our society without being properly integrated into society.
“Next time when convicted criminals are released, the community must first be informed prior to their release so we can be aware that we are going to live with an ex-convict in our midst,” Mlotshwa said.