Durban: A KwaZulu-Natal woman who kidnapped and murdered her 10-year-old neighbour with the aim of selling her organs has been jailed for life.
Zandile Nsele, 40, was sentenced in the Durban High Court on Tuesday.
According to Natasha Kara, the provincial spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority, Nsele received life and 25 years for both murder and kidnapping.
Nsele kidnapped Sphumelelo Mzimba in June 2019.
“They both knew each other and often visited each other’s homes,” said Kara.
Nsele, who was unemployed and experiencing financial problems, decided to kidnap the victim and ask for ransom from her parents.
“She also planned to kill the child and sell her organs and/or soft tissue. To this end she prepared a place to dispose of the body,” said Kara.
The court heard that on the day of the incident, Nsele told Mzimba to come to her house under the pretence that she would take her to the shop to buy chips.
“When the child arrived at her house, Nsele restrained her and bound her neck and ankles, thus fatally injuring her.
“Once the child was dead, Nsele removed some of her internal organs and soft tissue and disposed of the body in the prepared spot.
“That night Nsele contacted the child’s mother demanding a sum of R20 000 for the child’s safe return.
“The next morning she fled to Johannesburg, where she made two subsequent calls to the mother demanding R20 000 for her child’s safe return. She was arrested shortly afterwards.”
During court proceedings, senior State advocate Sheryl Naidu led cellphone-tracing evidence linking Nsele to the ransom messages sent.
“Evidence of the findings of the post-mortem confirmed that some of the child’s organs were removed.”
A neighbour also testified in court that Nsele had asked her to help with digging the hole.
Nsele was sentenced to life for murder, six years’ imprisonment for kidnapping, nine years’ imprisonment for the attempted extortion and 10 years’ imprisonment for contravening the National Health Act.
The NPA said all sentences would run concurrently and Nsele would effectively serve life behind bars.