Johannesburg - Sinovuyo Nokoyo’s dream was to become a pilot, but the teenage girl didn’t live to fulfill her dreams.
She was raped, smothered with a plastic bag and strangled with electrical cords.
A passer-by found her body the next day in a stretch of veld in Tshepisong on the West Rand last November.
Days before her death, the 14-year-old had received an award at school.
“She was doing well in science and mathematics,” her mother, Ncebakazi Nokoyo, said on Monday while testifying at the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court in aggravation of the sentencing of her daughter’s killers.
Last Thursday, Acting Judge Mokone Moloto found the four accused – Xolile Phuthumane, Nhlanhla Mthethwa, Sakhile Baroyi and Nhlanhla Xulu – guilty on two counts of rape, murder and kidnapping.
The men, aged between 20 and 22, have been in custody since their arrest a year ago.
Nokoyo, said life without her teenage daughter has been horrible, and added that her 3-year-old keeps asking about his big sister.
“Her death affected me very badly. It is hard. It is difficult living on pills. (Her death) is like a sore that does not heal,” said Nokoyo.
She also told the court that it hurt her that the third accused, Baroyi, was among the people who killed her child.
“I know accused three very well. I used to travel with his mother to work, and his aunt was my friend. I knew his grandfather very well too,” Nokoyo said.
The defence team requested Judge Moloto to take the men’s ages into consideration, arguing that the accused could be rehabilitated.
The judge will pass sentence on Thursday.