After almost 18 months of uncertainty and heartbreak, the friends and family of Liyaqat ‘Lee’ Mentoor have finally received some news today (September 13), even though it was bittersweet.
On Tuesday, the 29-year-old Mashinini, who the court found kidnapped and murdered three-year-old Liyaqat ‘Lee’ Mentoor, took the stand in the Johannesburg South High Court to testify.
The trial, which started on September 3, saw quite a few witnesses being questioned, and some shocking revelations including tales of abuse, rape, and aggression were shared with the attendees.
Before he was called to testify, Mashinini’s ex-wife, as well as the victim of the armed robbery, were called to the stand. According to family representative Estelle Delport, Mashinini’s ex-wife told a story of the pain and abuse she endured.
“She talked about rape, assault and injustice by the police. The defence tried to turn her testimony around, and make it look like she was lying, but she stood her ground.”
The victim of the armed robbery also appeared in the dock and shared a tale of her traumatic experience of being tied up with shoelaces, together with her then seven-year-old son, by a neighbour and being robbed at gunpoint.
The DNA results were also cross-examined, and it was confirmed that there were traces of Lee’s blood on the swabs taken at the accused’s home.
When Mashinini took the stand, he painted a picture of a loving boyfriend who accepted Lee as his own. He also stated that his relationship with Kaylah Mentoor, Lee’s mother, was perfect and they never argued or fought. He claimed that his mother accepted and loved Lee as if he was her own grandchild.
Mashinini also denied the allegations made by his ex-wife, and said he has never assaulted or raped her, as she had dropped all the charges against him. He shocked the court when he stated, “I am not perfect, I am not Jesus Christ … but I follow Him.”