Durban — A man convicted of killing his 3-year-old stepchild was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment for the 2019 murder by the Ntuzuma Magistrate’s Court.
Mozambican national Jaime Cumbane who was arrested attempting to flee KwaZulu-Natal for Mozambique was sentenced on Thursday by Magistrate T Nomvungu.
During the trial, pathologist Dr S Prahladh testifying on her post-mortem findings, described the murder as a brutal and vicious attack on the child.
“I observed injuries that were distributed all over the deceased’s body, on her face, mouth head, lower chest, and abdomen area.”
She said due to the distribution of the injuries and the severity thereof her observations were not consistent with the defence’s version which was that the accused had only struck the child once.
The accused’s version was that he had struck toddler Mivuyo Madletyana because she had dropped water on the floor while he had not been in the house.
Further to this, Cumbane said that on his return to the house and seeing the water on the floor he struck the child once with his hand and she fell onto a brink that was in the house.
Cumbane was in a relationship with Mivuyo’s mother Nomvula Madletyana and the couple who lived in Inanda have a child (boy) together.
The accused had been employed at his father’s salon which was across from the room the couple was living in, that was where he had gone to leaving Mivuyo and came back to find water spilled on the floor.
In her evidence, Madletyana told the court that Cumbane had started becoming abusive towards her and they would often get into arguments.
The court heard how the day before Madletyana returned from buying clothes for her children, she found Mivuyo playing outside with other children and noticed a bruise on her mouth.
And that when she asked the toddler what had happened to her she pointed to the accused saying it was him, when the mother confronted Cumbane about that he claimed the child had been burnt.
“When I asked how the child was burnt he became agitated and began hitting me with the back of a firearm on my back and left shoulder.”
She said the next morning she had planned to go to the clinic for her monthly medication and contraceptive injection however, it was raining heavily and decided she would go the following day.
“The accused insisted that I still go and leave the children behind. He said he had got ointment for the child’s burn wound and he had left the house to find a taxi for me.”
Madletyana’s evidence was that upon her return she was summoned by their neighbour who said Cumbane had left a message for her.
“The message was that there was something that he had done that I would never forget… The neighbour said she saw the accused leaving with luggage and board a private taxi,” she said.
Madletyana said when she went to their home she noticed that clothes belonging to the child she shared with the accused were no longer there as well as items belonging to Cumbane.
“I noticed blankets stacked up next to the bed, when I pulled these back I saw Mivuyo’s hand. I pulled the body from underneath the bed,” she said.
Cumbane was found with the couple’s baby boy when he was arrested.
WhatsApp your views on this story at 071 485 7995.