Accused sit in the dock at the Cape High Court at the trial of Murdered 6-month-old Zahnia Woodward'. Accused number one and two Christopher September and Larry Johnson was found guilty of murdering Zahnia. Pictures: Brendan Magaar / African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - A heartbreaking plea for the Western Cape High Court to impose a life sentence on the two men convicted of killing six-month-old Zahnia Woodward, was made by the baby’s grandmother as she recalled seeing the infant’s lifeless body wrapped in foil.

“I feel nothing for these people,” said Jennifer Woodward, the grandmother, pointing to Christopher September and Larry Johnson, who were seated at the dock.

“They had a choice when they saw Zahnia. They didn’t think about her, they were trigger happy. What they did to my daughter I can never forget. The pain that I still have I can never let go.

“I, as a mother, failed to take my daughter’s pain of losing her child,” she cried.

Zahnia was killed in a gang-related shooting in Ocean View in December 2016.

The grandmother told the court how she was playing puzzles when she got news that Zahnia had been shot dead.

She detailed the panic of how she and Zahnia’s mother, Cindy Woodward, spent about 30 minutes begging for people in Ocean View to give them a lift to the hospital.

“They shot her dead like she was a dog. Zahnia was my one and only. Still today, her tinned formula milk is still at my house I can’t throw it away. Its feels like I am throwing memory of her away,” she sobbed.

Earlier, Cindy told the court she wanted life imprisonment for her daughter’s murderers.

“They didn’t just take Zahnia away from me they took her whole life away. She hadn’t crawled, not even her first tooth was out. They acted like God and took her away. God didn’t take my child away from me it was them, they shot her.

“Today they are talking about getting lesser sentence so that they can come back to their children; what about me? I don’t have a living child because of them,” she said.

Cindy said she had created an online petition which went viral on social media and gained her 10 000 signatures from across the globe.

The court heard from Edward Clark of the police’s Organised Crime Investigative unit who said 34 children were killed in gang related incidents in the 2017/18 financial year.

“These incidents were inside their premises or directly outside or on the road directly opposite premises and or in vehicles,” he said.


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