Illustration of a hammer used once a judge has reached a verdict in a case.
Illustration of a hammer used once a judge has reached a verdict in a case.

Life sentence for kidnapping, poisoning and strangling toddler

By Okuhle Hlati Time of article published Jun 10, 2021

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MZIMHLE Jikwana, the man convicted of kidnapping and killing 2-year-old Oyingcwele Zokufa by poisoning and strangling the toddler, has been sentenced to life imprisonment and a further eight years.

The life term was for premeditated murder and the eight years were for kidnapping.

The sentences will run concurrently, said Western Cape High Court Judge Monde Samela.

The judge remarked that Jikwana had shown no empathy throughout the ordeal and had stated that he would rather die with the truth, and further decided not to testify in his defence.

He declared the 32-year-old unsuitable to work with children in terms of the Children's Act, and unfit to possess a firearm in terms of the Firearms Control Act.

“The accused is evil, a clear danger to children, and needs to be removed from society. He kept a 2-year-old after promising to bring him back to the mother on three occasions.”

Judge Samela pointed out the mother, Siphesihle, and her family suffered anguish when Jikwana had made a number of threats, including to bring Oyingcwele back in a Tupperware container.

“The accused took the police and the family on a wild goose chase. He never showed a sign of Ubuntu by apologising to the family. Instead the court heard that the accused is still taunting the aunt's child, Aviwe.”

During pre-sentencing, Oyingcwele’s aunt, who is Jikwana’s ex-girlfriend, claimed she still received inbox messages on Facebook from him and pictures of coffins.

Oyingcwele went missing in August 2018, after Jikwana had an argument with Aviwe, who at the time allegedly ended their intimate relationship.

The toddler's body was found four days later, in a shallow grave in bushes on the side of the N2 near Philippi.

State advocate Pulane Thaiteng said: “The accused has a psychopath element, he enjoys being in control and gets aggressive when he is not. This was seen when Aviwe ended their six-months relationship and he damaged her mothers house.”

Oyingcwele’s uncle, Sikelela Zokufa, said the journey to justice had been long and the family welcomed the sentence.

“This chapter is closed now, so we can move on with our lives and our child’s spirit will continue to rest in peace. The sentence will bring us closure and that devil must rot behind bars.”

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