Sibonelo Mkhize, the man accused of murdering Shallcross schoolgirl Sadia Sukhraj in May, made his first appearance in the Durban High Court on Monday.
Sporting trendy spectacles, Mkhize entered the dock and sat down before Judge Shyam Gyanda, who asked the interpreter to inquire about his identity.
“Please find out who is this accused,” Gyanda said.
When Mkhize stated his name, Gyanda replied: “Oh, you’re wearing spectacles.”
The matter was brought to the high court for a provisional trial date to be set. Mkhize was unrepresented but the court heard that he plans to apply for a Legal Aid representative.
Gyanda adjourned the matter to December 3 to allow Mkhize to make the application.
Mkhize faces charges relating to the death of the nine-year-old schoolgirl and that of an alleged accomplice, who died at the scene, as well as a single count of aggravated robbery.
Sadia had been with her father on a school run when Mkhize and his accomplice allegedly held them up in the driveway of Sadia’s grandmother’s home.
At Mkhize’s final appearance in the magistrate’s court on November 8, prosecutor Sipho Mhlongo revealed for the first time that Sadia’s father, Shailendra, had peppered his own car with bullets as Mkhize and his alleged cohort sped away with Sadia.
“Her father drove her to her grandparents’ home in Himalaya Drive in Shallcross. She was in the rear of the car while he alighted from the vehicle. While in the stationary motor vehicle in the driveway of her grandparents’ home, the accused and another assailant allegedly accosted her and her father,” said Mhlongo.
“The assailants were armed and demanded the car keys from her father at gunpoint. He threw the car keys to them and they both boarded the vehicle.
“While both assailants were fleeing in his vehicle with his daughter in the car, he fired several shots with his licensed firearm,” added Mhlongo.
The nine-year-old girl’s death was caused by a gunshot wound to her chest. The other alleged hijacker was shot in the pelvis and died at the scene.
Their escape was cut short when they collided with a truck, before losing control of the car‚ which spun and came to rest in a neighbourhood park. One of the men fled the scene. Mkhize was arrested.
From whose gun the fatal bullet was fired is only likely to be established when the matter proceeds to trial.
BY NIVASHNI NAIR- TimesLIVE
Source: TMG Digital