Protests at Delft child murder, rape trial

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Copy of ca p6 Delft Girl1649 CAPE ARGUS Demonstrations on Wednesday at the Bellville Magistrates Court where Wanda Oliphant is on trial. Picture: Willem Law

Cape Town - Groups of demonstrators sang and toyi-toyied outside the Bellville Magistrate’s Court on Thursday morning, where Wanda Oliphant, 27, appeared in connection with the rape and murder of a 9-year-old Delft girl in January.

Lihle Hlanjwa, was found tied up, badly burnt and fighting for her life in an open field next to the R300 in Delft.

The case was postponed until May 8 for further investigation. Prosecutor Vuvu Manele acceded to the defence’s request that Oliphant remain in solitary confinement for his safety.

Oliphant narrowly escaped a mob who wanted to kill him soon after the incident. He was held in a neighbourhood watch member’s garage as a crowd bayed for blood outside, before being arrested.

Manele said more investigation was required now that the docket had been amended to include the charge of murder.

Lihle was treated in Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, where she had several operations. She died on March 18 and the charge against Oliphant was changed from attempted murder to murder.

Outside the court this morning, four groups demonstrated about the case. The ANC had a group of supporters dancing and singing across the road from the court. Next to them, a group from Agang gathered and just off the road, a large DA contingent waved placards.

A more orderly group representing Delft neighbourhood watches also arrived to support the child’s family.

Civic groups the Delft Neighbourhood Watchers Association and the Bonteheuwel Ladies Walking for Health and Against Crime, were at the court to support the family and community.

Some bystanders lambasted the political party groups for what they saw as exploiting the girl’s death for political gain.

“We are very disappointed with the political parities who came here to make cheap politics and jump on the bandwagon just to advertise themselves,” said Soraya Salie from the Bonteheuwel group.

Cape Argus

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