Durban: A 31-year-old man who kidnapped his ex-girlfriend’s child and then murdered him was sentenced to life imprisonment in the Durban High Court.
Thembelani Ntengwana received an additional 10 years on the kidnapping charge.
The National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson in KZN, Natasha Kara, said Ntengwana was convicted of the murder of 16-month-old Sibongakonke Nduduzi.
He killed the child in the Amaoti area near Phoenix in 2019.
Kara said Ntengwana had been in a relationship with the child’s mother, Naledi Mlanji.
“However, they were no longer together at the time of the incident.
“On the night of the incident, she left the child in the care of his seven-year-old sibling and two other children, while she and her friends went to a neighbouring house.
“During the course of the night, Ntengwana entered the house and kidnapped the child. He assaulted and strangled him.
“The child’s body was discovered a few days later in a plastic bag.”
Kara said the child’s sibling identified Ntengwana as the perpetrator.
“Ntengwana was arrested in Mount Frere in the Eastern Cape after police traced his cellphone.”
During the trial, Ntengwana denied knowing anything about the murder, even though he had been communicating with the child’s parents via cellphone and had told them where to find the body.
“The State led the evidence of the child’s sibling who saw Ntengwana taking the child. Ntengwana’s mother also testified in court that he had confessed to the murder to her.”
In a victim impact statement, the toddler’s parents spoke of how their loss had affected their lives.
“They said that the child’s killing was brutal and that they didn’t wish their experience on any other parent.”