Man gets 14 years for baby’s horror death

Cape Town - A 32-year-old man has been sentenced to 14 years direct imprisonment for murdering his former girlfriend's seven-month-old baby daughter.

The Western Cape High Court on Tuesday entered into a plea-and-sentence agreement with Zukile Nakupi for the January 2016 killing.

A file photo taken at the funeral of seven-month-old Inganathi Mnyani. Her killer was on Tuesday sentenced to 14 years in prison. File picture: Cindy Waxa. Credit: INDEPENDENT MEDIA

In the agreement, the chilling details of Inganathi Mnyani's final moments are laid bare.

On January 21, Nakupi and the baby's mother were at their home in an informal settlement in Philippi. The older biological child of the couple was asleep in another room. At about 1am, Andisiwe Mnyani woke up to feed the baby (not Nakupi's biological child).

“The accused who was drunk at the time, started arguing with Andisiwe about the females who constantly contacted the accused.The couple started fighting, while the baby lay on the bed. She fell off the bed as the fighting continued.

“The accused admits that he stepped on the infant as he wrestled with her mother on the bed. The accused admits that he stepped on the deceased's body and head more than once. The accused then picked up the deceased and hit her against the beam and the wall of the shack. The accused then flung the deceased behind the bed.”

Nakupi could not remember when little Inganathi stopped crying. He admitted that his actions were intentional and unlawful, and pleaded guilty to the murder.

Western Cape High Court Judge President Judge John Hlophe asked Nakupi if he had anything he wanted to say. In a barely audible voice, he apologised to the child's family.

Nakupi had also shown “genuine remorse”, which allowed the court to deviate from the minimum sentence of 15 years for murder, as prescribed by legislation. The court also found him capable of rehabilitation.

The baby's family was not in court on Wednesday, but State prosecutor Thabo Ntela said they had been notified and were satisfied with the sentence.