Durban - A KwaDukuza father has lost his family as a result of his 5-year-old daughter’s rape and murder.
Mbongiseni Ntshangase testified on Thursday before Durban High Court Judge Johan Ploos van Amstel that he and his girlfriend, the mother of his twin girls, had separated after his daughter Nelisiwe Mngomezulu’s funeral because his girlfriend no longer trusted him. He is also no longer allowed any contact with his surviving daughter.
His twin daughters were at his home on July 4, last year in his sister’s care because he was not home at the time, when his neighbour, 19-year-old Lindokuhle Mthethwa, walked into his house with the intention to steal. He kidnapped Nelisiwe, who had seen him as he walked into the bedroom where the children were sleeping.
Afraid she would scream, he put his hand over her mouth and left with her.
He then took her to nearby bushes and raped her. Afraid she would tell her family what happened, he hit her head against a rock and then went home and slept. The following morning, the community confronted him about Nelisiwe’s disappearance. He ran away to his grandmother’s house where he was later arrested.
Nelisiwe was found in the bushes and taken to the local hospital where she later died.
On Thursday, the judge said he had pleaded guilty only when he was linked to the crime by his DNA.
Mthethwa, via his Legal Aid attorney, Theyagaraj Pillay, apologised to Ntshangase in court.
“Realising there was no way out, you pleaded guilty. That doesn’t show remorse,” said the judge.
Ntshangase had testified that his girlfriend and her family regard him as an “outcast” because he had left his children alone in his sister’s care.
“They don’t want to have anything to do with me or from me. I’m not allowed to see my other daughter, Nomvelo, and her mother and I are not on speaking terms,” he testified.
State advocate, ZG Mshololo, had called social worker Nompumelelo Dube to testify. Dube said Mthethwa and his mother had lied to her about his previous convictions. After compiling her pre-sentencing report, she learnt from the police that the accused had a previous conviction of rape and drug possession.
“There’s nothing to suggest that he (Mthethwa) raped and killed the little girl due to immaturity and youthfulness. He behaved in a brutal and calculated way so she couldn’t identify him. In this case, society can rightly demand a maximum sentence.”
Mthethwa was sentenced to five years for housebreaking with the intent to commit a crime; five years for kidnapping; life for rape and a further life sentence for murder. These sentences are to run concurrently with the life sentence.
Pillay has successfully applied for leave to take the sentence on appeal.
Outside court, Ntshangase said he was happy with the sentence and that he had hoped for life imprisonment.