GOING DOWN: Odwa Nkololo is escorted out of court after being convicted of rape and murder.Picture: Noor Slamdien/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - Just seconds after Odwa Nkololo, the man on trial for the rape and murder of 4-year-old Iyapha Yamile, was convicted of the charges, he spat in a journalist’s face.

Nkololo was about to exit the door of court 12 at the Western Cape High Court when he attacked a journalist recording him as he was being escorted by police.

This was minutes after Judge Dianne Davis found him guilty of raping the little girl, strangling her to death and then wrapping her body in refuse bags and disposing of it about two streets away from his Town Two, Harare, home.

Iyapha’s father, Dan Mpongoshe, said Nkololo was a vulture. “Nothing in him shows remorse or that he can change. Even this thing of him spitting at a journalist is a clear indication of his rude ways. “He has no regrets and his actions prove his guilt,”

Mpongoshe said the family was still devastated by what had happened to Iyapha, but he was satisfied with the guilty conviction.

“For sentencing, I expect nothing less than a life sentence. I hope he gets life or 15 years for each of the two rape charges he faces,” he said.

Judge Davis had not concluded delivering her judgment. She has, however, acquitted Nkololo of the kidnapping charge for Iyapha. She also ruled that the alleged confession Nkololo made to police was admissible.

Today she will be delivering her judgment on the second rape charge Nkololo faces, for the rape of a 7-year-old girl, a close friend’s daughter.

In her judgment, Davis said all of the State witnesses impressed her. She said their evidence was clear and precise.

Davis said that, moreover, she was impressed by Mncedi Ndikho, Nkololo’s friend, who testified that Nkololo was with him on the day of the murder but left at around 6pm to fetch a jacket at his home, only to return two hours later.

Iyapha went missing at around 5.45pm on April 30, 2017. “The accused was in close proximity with Iyapha. Why did he take so long to get back to Mncedi’s house?

“If he was indeed fetching a jacket, it would have taken him at least 15 minutes, said the judge. She also analysed Nkololo’s defence argument that his semen and DNA were found in Iyapha’s vagina because her body was dumped using a refuse bag which he had used to throw away used condoms, which was stolen from his house.

“His explanation on semen was not only highly improbable, but remarkably false. Undisputed medical evidence shows Iyapha’s vagina was penetrated by force.

“At 4 years of age, she could never give, consent; this is further indication of rape,” said the judge.

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Cape Argus