‘No guilty verdict in Bokgabo Poo’s murder case sends a message that crime pays’

todayAugust 8, 2023 93

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The Teddy Bear Foundation says the verdict in the Bokgabo Poo’s murder case will encourage criminality as it sends a message that crime pays and the criminal justice system sides with criminals.

The Foundation’s Director, Dr Shaheda Omar, says it will further subject victims and their families to victimisation and trauma.

Her remarks come a day after the high court sitting in Benoni found Ntokozo Zikhali not guilty of Poo’s murder despite his confession about kidnapping the 4-year-old.

The court rejected the confession as not admissible, saying proper procedure was not followed to obtain it.

Zikhali was charged with kidnapping, murder, violation of a corpse and defeating the ends of justice after Poo was kidnapped from Masoleng Park in Wattville, Benoni, on 9 October 2022.

She was raped and killed, and residents later discovered parts of her mutilated body in Tamboville, also in Gauteng’s East Rand.

Dr Omar says this ruling will also have devastating effects on the country’s fight against crimes such as Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF).

Dr Omar says the court’s outcome is a slap in the face of many victims of GBV, in a country with notoriously high levels of violence against women and children.

Bokgabo’s father, Irvin Ndlovu, says it’s frustrating and difficult to comprehend how Zikhali would claim that he was forced to admit to the crime, but fail to point out the person who forced his hand in court.

The Ndlovu family is calling for justice for Bokgabo, appealing to anyone with information that might assist them in arresting the suspect behind his daughter’s death to come forward.

Social media users have joined the family in calling for justice.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has on the other hand welcomed the verdict.

Zikhali was out on bail at the time of Poo’s alleged murder.

He was accused of raping a nine-year-old girl, who he had picked up while playing with her friends at a park in Tamboville.

The high court sitting in Benoni has now found him guilty of the crime and sentencing proceedings in that matter have been set down for Thursday.

Written by: Nokwazi Qumbisa

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