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Slain child would have turned 14 in August

Ten year old Siphumelele Mzimba who was kidnapped and killed in 2019. Supplied

Ten year old Siphumelele Mzimba who was kidnapped and killed in 2019. Supplied

Published May 17, 2022

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Durban - In three weeks’ time, on June 13, it would be exactly three years since the murder of 10-year-old Siphumelele Mzimba whose body was found three weeks after she had gone missing.

On Tuesday Zandile Nsele, 40, from Nazareth, near Pinetown, who was convicted of kidnapping, murder, contravention of the National Health Act, and three counts of attempted extortion will be sentenced in the Durban High Court.

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Little Siphumelele would have turned 14 on August 23, and at the time of the kidnapping and discovery of her body, her parents, Mlungisi Nkala and Nosipho Mzimba, had said the most difficult thing would be to tell their daughter’s surviving brother, who was 7 at the time, that he would never see Siphumelele again.

According to the NPA, Nsele, 40, lived a short distance away from the Mzimba family and they often visited each other’s homes.

“The accused, who was unemployed and had been experiencing financial difficulties, planned to kidnap and murder Siphumelele.

“She planned to demand ransom from Siphumelele’s parents and remove her organs and/or body parts for sale. She planned to meet the young girl on the pretext of taking her to the shop to buy her chips,” said the NPA.

On June 13, 2019, Siphumelele went to Nsele’s home, and on arrival, the accused restrained her and bound her neck and ankles.

Mlungisi Nkala, the father of Siphumelele Mzimba, whose murderer will be sentenced on Tuesday at the Durban High Court. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo

In the trial, it emerged that Siphumelele sustained fatal injuries.

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“Nsele removed some of the deceased’s organs and/or body parts before dumping the body in a bush near her home.

“During the course of that same night she demanded a sum of R20 000 from Siphumelele’s mother for the safe return of her daughter,” said the NPA.

In the early morning hours of June 14, Nsele fled to Johannesburg and while there, she made two further demands for ransom money from the deceased’s mother in the amount of R20 000.

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Mzimba’s body was found on July 4, 2019, and post-mortem results revealed the cause of death was undetermined due to advanced decomposition.

At the time when Siphumelele’s body was found, her father who discovered it, showed the Daily News in an interview the extortion SMS.

It read (as it appeared on the phone): “Hi got yr princess here by me your husband rob me my life years ago now its payback time. I want money or u loose your daughter I want 20 000 buy tomorrow morning tell your husband to deposit in Spar. He must deposit separate lyke 4000 until ibeyile mali engifunayo (translation: until its the amount I want). Spar and forward to dis number pin must be 1525 and you don’t go to policies coz I’m watching u an your husband… (sic)”

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