The State has asked the Western Cape High Court to find the alleged murderer of a five-year-old girl guilty on all charges.
State prosecutor Alta Collopy, in final arguments on Wednesday, said Bongani Dlamini had made a “very poor and unconvincing witness” and that his version was “shot through with inconsistencies, evasiveness and improbabilities”.
Dlamini was charged with the rape, kidnapping and murder of Anovoyo Ndamase, who was killed on March 1, 2015, in Khayelitsha, in Cape Town.
After pleading not guilty, Dlamini provided a plea explanation the State said was in essence “a blanket denial of any involvement in the disappearance and death of the deceased”.
During the trial, six State witnesses were called to testify, including the mother of the deceased, who said her child had gone missing while playing outside at about 6.30pm on March 1 last year.
She told the court a search was launched that night and continued until the child’s body was discovered on March 5.
The child’s naked body had been stuffed in a bag, along with her clothes, and was found behind the house of a man who lived about three houses away from the accused.
Captain Marius Joubert, attached to the police’s Forensic Crime Laboratory, testified during the trial that a large hammer found hidden behind a bed base had the blood of the deceased on it.
He also testifed that the DNA of both the deceased and the accused was found on the hammer. Blood spatter from the deceased was also found on the accused’s bedroom wall.
The State contends the hammer was the murder weapon and that Anovoyo died of blunt force trauma to the head.
Collopy told the court on Tuesday that the accused’s version that a “mystery assailant had kidnapped the deceased before 6.30pm” could not reasonably possibly be true.
She also said the fact that semen was found on the pillow case and duvet found in the accused’s house was an indication in the “bigger picture” of the crime scene that the child had been raped. The child had also been undressed, which pointed to a “sinister motive”.
The accused, however, claimed during the trial that his semen had been found because he had had sex with his girlfriend two days before.
Collopy said there was “overwhelming circumstantial evidence against the accused” and asked the court to find Dlamini guilty on all counts.
But defence lawyer Bruce Morrison told the court on Wednesday that his client should be acquitted on all counts and that the State had “failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused was the kidnapper and/or murderer”.
Morrison said Dlamini had given a comprehensive plea statement that detailed where he was on the evening of the child’s disappearance.
Dlamini claimed he had gone to a tavern, and while walking home, had encountered people from the community who were searching for the child.
He had joined the search party and later returned to his home where he had found nothing untoward.
On Monday morning, March 2, he had awoken to find a blue refuse bag in his bedroom in which he saw the deceased’s body. He claimed he didn’t know how it got there, but speculated that somebody could have broken into his home and committed the crime while he was sleeping.
He also said he had found a bloodied scene in his storeroom and believed he would be arrested if he went to police and that his life would be in danger if he told the community.
His version was that he had cleaned up the blood with detergent and then dumped the body and the child’s clothing in a bag behind a neighbour’s house.
The body was discovered on March 5 and Dlamini was arrested later that day.
Morrison told the court on Wednesday that there was not “an iota of evidence to prove that the deceased was raped or sexually interfered with”.
Earlier, Collopy argued that while the postmortem report could not determine conclusively whether a rape had taken place, as the body was badly decomposed, the court should look at the “cumulative effect” of the crime scene.
Dlamini seemed to listen intently to final arguments, the right side of his face twitching throughout.
Judge Ashley Binns-Ward postponed the case to September 5 for judgment.
– African News Agency (ANA)