Ricochet News

Couple that killed and buried their daughter in shallow grave sentenced

JULY 6, 2017
Couple that killed and buried their daughter in shallow grave sentenced

An East London couple that was convicted by the Mdantsane Magistrate's Court of killing their five-year-old daughter and burying her body in a shallow grave in their backyard in June 2016 were sentenced to a combined 26 years behind bars.

Delivering her judgement,  Magistrate Bulelwa Gixana, handed the husband, 31-year-old Siphelo Melfin, a 20-year prison sentence for the murder of his step-daughter, Kungawo. Melfin pleaded guilty to assaulting her to death on the fateful day.

On the other charge of defeating the ends of justice after burying her body in a shallow grave, Melfin was handed a 3-year jail sentence. Both sentences will run concurrently.

His girlfriend and the child's mother, Nosikhumbuzo Mabusela, was convicted on a charge of defeating the ends of justice for which she was slapped with a three-year prison sentence.

The two were expected to be sentenced on Wednesday, however their defence lawyer was not present, which resulted in a postponement to Thursday.

The couple was arrested in June 2016 after police found the child's decomposed body in a shallow grave in a garden close to their home following a tip-off from a neighbour.

Melfin is said to have had assaulted the child with a belt afterwhich she died.

The couple then wrapped the body in a blanket and buried it in a shallow grave.

However,  a neighbour, who had become suspicious, alerted police which led the couple's arrest.