News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Sunday September 15th 2019

Man sentenced to 30 years for raping and killing eight-year-old niece

Lindile Qhayi was found guilty of raping and strangling 8-year-old Zikhona Qhayi

The family of a 24-year-old man convicted of raping and murdering his eight-year-old niece last year, wept as he was sentenced to an effective 30 years in prison by Western Cape High Court Judge John Hlophe yesterday.

Lindile Qhayi was found guilty of raping and strangling Zikhona Qhayi on October 10, 2011.

Zikhona went missing that day and her body was found in bushes near Kuyasa in Khayelitsha, about a kilometre from her home the next day.

Lindile’s sisters and Zikhona’s mother wept as the sentence of 30 years for rape and another 30 years for murder, which would run concurrently, was read out.

Lindile had pleaded guilty to the charges against him and did not deny that on October 10, 2011, he approached Zikhona while she was playing with her friends and lured her to nearby bushes before raping her and subsequently strangling her.

When Zikhona went missing her grandfather Max Seku said she had been playing outside their Harare home on the afternoon of her disappearance.

She did not come inside at the usual time and that is when the family immediately started looking for her and reported the matter to the police.

The next morning passersby saw Zikhona’s body lying amidst bushes growing on nearby sand dunes and called her family, who called the police.

Days later Lindile was arrested and confessed to the crime.

Defense advocate Allan Lange told Hlophe that Lindile understood the consequences of pleading guilty.

Lange said Lindile was satisfied with the sentence he received.

Zikhona’s mother Tisia Qhayi said she would not speak to the media until family members were informed of the outcome of the case. –- Sandiso Phaliso


Tags: Allan Lange, John Hlophe, Lindile Qhayi, Western Cape High Court, Zikhona Qhayi

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