The KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg has sentenced a man to two life terms behind bars for the rape and murder of his partner’s 9-year-old daughter.
Bongani Thokozani Dlamini raped and strangled the girl before dumping her body in a nearby pit toilet in January 2020, according to a National Prosecuting Authority statement on Friday.
In his guilty plea, it emerged that Dlamini was in a relationship with the girl’s mother and they lived together in the Efefe area of Nongoma.
On the day of the incident, Dlamini was returning from a funeral at a nearby homestead when he met the child who was on her way to the shop.
Dlamini then lured her to an abandoned homestead where he raped and strangled her.
When he realised that she was dead, he dumped her body in a nearby pit toilet. Her body was recovered a week later, and the cause of death was established as manual strangulation.
“In his plea, Dlamini said that he strangled the child because he feared that she would report him to her mother,” NPA regional spokesperson Natasha Kara said.
“He said that after dumping her body, he returned home and pretended as if nothing had happened,” she added.
In aggravation of sentence, senior state advocate Mbongeni Mthembu handed in a victim impact statement compiled by the child’s mother and facilitated by the court.
In the statement, the mother said she was in a relationship with Dlamini for eight years and never expected him to commit such acts.
“The gruesome image of her child’s body dumped in the toilet would never leave her mind,” said Zulu.
Director of Public Prosecutions in KwaZulu-Natal advocate Elaine Zungu welcomed both the conviction and the sentences.
“The accused had no justifiable reason to commit such an abhorrent offence”, she said.
“He was no doubt a father figure in the child’s life. The fact that the accused pleaded guilty does not diminish his actions. Well done to those involved in this successful prosecution,” added Zungu.