Convicted rapist and murderer Odwa Nkololo at the Western Cape High Court. Picture Noor Slamdien/African News Agency

Cape Town - A convicted child rapist and murderer’s lawyer begged the Western Cape High Court to go easy on him on Monday.
Odwa Nkololo, 30, was convicted earlier this month of the rape of his girlfriend’s then seven-year-old daughter and the rape and murder of four-year-old Iyapha Yamile in Khayelitsha.

However, he was acquitted on the kidnapping charge.

Nkololo’s lawyer, Advocate Susanna Kuun, told the court her client grew up most of his life without his mother and was an economically viable member of society.

“At the time of his arrest, my client was a door manager of a taxi and was economically viable to society,” she said.

“He grew up without his mother, his father was a bricklayer and his paternal grandmother reared him.”

“He dropped out of school in Grade 12 and got a job as a plumber.”

Kuun said Nkololo’s family never attended court because of death threats. He also has a previous conviction of theft in 2014.

“Although he has a previous conviction, he is to be considered as a first-time offender. If it could be prevented, he should not get a long prison sentence and we ask then from the court to deviate from the maximum sentence as there could be a possibility of rehabilitation,” she requested.

State prosecutor, Advocate Thabo Ntela, said Nkololo should be jailed for life as this is the minimum sentence for his heinous crimes.

“The court has to look at the seriousness of the crimes. His actions include deprivation of life. For the deceased, this was a gross and cruel manner to die after enduring sexual violation and strangulation,” Ntela submitted.

“The acts of rape - especially against the most vulnerable members of society, that are innocent and fragile children - are barbaric and inexcusable.”

Ntela stated Nkololo had shown no remorse and his testimony was filled with lies which the court should take into consideration.

“He gave evidence which was found to be lies, but he continued to stick to his untrue testimony,” he said.

“In the interest of society, the court has to ensure the safety of the community from the accused. He needs to be removed from the community. He abused a position of trust with his first victim who regarded him as a father.”

Ntela says the court has to give a sentence to boost the confidence of communities and send a message that no person is above the law. Sentencing begins today.