Mum of murdered 3-year-old Lumka Makhasi cleared of neglect
The toddler was allegedly beaten by her stepfather, Lwando Sobeka, in Driftsands, Mfuleni, on May 2017. He allegedly beat her with a plank and then hosed her down because she had messed herself the day before.
Her mother, Khumbula Sobekwa, and Lwando had initially told friends and family that the child had a fit and died. However, the post-mortem result ruled that she died from unnatural causes.
The duo fled their home in Driftsands and moved to Kayamandi, Stellenbosch, before leaving for the Eastern Cape, where they were arrested.
The girl had been with her grandmother in Beaufort West since she was born and had come to Cape Town with her mother for the weekend when she was murdered.
Judge Siraj Desai heard in court that post mortem results showed that Lumka died from multiple blunt force injuries. The report further stated that the child’s brain appeared swollen, both lungs were collapsed, the anus appeared distended and larger than normal, and there were various abrasions and healing wounds on the body.
Constable Zola Niyawana testified before the court that he found it strange that a doctor told a man who had brought the child to his practice, where she was certified dead, to take the lifeless body to the nearest clinic or home.
Niyawana and his colleague were first to arrive on the scene. According to Niyawana, he had spoke to a man who introduced himself as Lwando Sobekwa, but he could not recall if it was the same person in the dock.
“He told me that a child had died and took me to the shack where the body was lying on the bed. I looked at the child and saw that she wasn’t breathing. Mr Lwando told me the child had been shaking in the toilet and he rushed her to a doctor Patel in the area.”
The child’s aunt, Nobuntu Bakana, testified that the girl had been healthy while living with her in Beaufort West.
She said she had been shocked when she was told the child had died because she knew there had been nothing wrong with her.
Another relative, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the family was doubtful about Lwando and Khumbula’s relationship.
The trial will continue on October 8 for arguments.