A convicted child rapist and murderer was handed two life sentences at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Monday for the rape and murder of a four-year-old girl.
Songezo Mpulampula, 22, pleaded guilty to the September 2023, rape and murder of the toddler in the Harding area.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Natasha Ramkisson-Kara, said that in his plea, Mpulampula mentioned that he and the child lived in the same area.
The sentence comes days after the annual 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence campaign was launched.
According to Mpulampula, on the day of the incident, he was returning home from drinking at a tavern when he stopped at a house in the area to get something to eat.
“There, he found the child eating a meal with the neighbour and he joined them. When the neighbour left them alone and went to the bathroom, Mpulampula lured her outside to an abandoned toilet. There he raped her and strangled her thereafter. He took a plastic bag that was on the floor and lit it with matches, allowing the drops of burning plastic to fall onto her body, causing her to sustain burn injuries. He fled the scene and was arrested a few days later in the uMzimkhulu area,” said Ramkisson-Kara.
In court, Senior State Advocate Pretty-Girl Ngcobo handed in a Victim Impact Statement compiled by the child’s mother and facilitated by Court Preparation Officer Beaufort Shinga.
“In her statement, the woman said that her child was bubbly and full of life and did not deserve to die in such a horrible manner.
“She said that Mpulampula had taken away her child's right to life and right to a future. The woman said that she is not coping with the death and is experiencing flashbacks from the day of the incident. “She added that she is very depressed and has had to relocate to another province,” said RamkissonKara.
The double life sentences will run concurrently. The court further deemed Mpulampula unfit to possess a firearm.
“The NPA welcomes this successful prosecution. As the country observes the 16 Days of Activism campaign, we hope that sentences of this nature demonstrate the NPA’s efforts to fight for justice on behalf of the victims of crime. We commend the work done by the Prosecution and SAPS,” said Ramkisson-Kara.