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Child killer Onke Mashinini gets life sentence, also jailed for robbing woman neighbour

30 October 2019 - 08:45 By BELINDA PHETO
Child killer Onke Mashinini sits in the dock of the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.
Child killer Onke Mashinini sits in the dock of the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.
Image: Alaister Russell/The Sunday Times

Clad in a polka dotted jacket with matching shirt and black tie, Onke Mashinini had his head bowed and made occasional eye contact as Johannesburg high court judge Daniel Mogotsi sentenced him to life behind bars.

Mashinini was found guilty last month of premeditated murder, defeating the ends of justice and an unrelated armed robbery that occurred in 2013.

He was sentenced on Tuesday to life imprisonment for killing Roodepoort toddler, Liyaqat “Lee” Mentoor who went missing while in his care, five years for defeating the ends of justice and 15 years for robbery.

Mashinini was in a relationship with Lee’s mother Kaylah for about six months when the little boy was killed.

Mashinini was linked to the armed robbery that occurred at his neighbour’s house, where he and his accomplices robbed his female neighbour at gunpoint.

The neighbour testified in court and said the incident traumatised her to the extent that she had to sell her house as she no longer felt safe.

“The scourge of gender-based violence has reached crisis level in the province and the country. It’s the duty of the court to send a clear message to offenders and would-be offenders that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated,” Mogotsi said.

The judge told Mashinini that his actions were senseless, as both his victims (the murder and robbery victim) were vulnerable members of society whom he should have protected.

The judge said Mashinini showed no remorse. “In the letter that the accused wrote to the mother, he is just saying sorry. He is not clear as to what is he sorry for. He’s not unpacking as to what does he mean and just says forgive me because all of this was done by me,” Mogotsi said.

While delivering the sentence, Mogotsi told Mashinini that the mother of the deceased said she felt murdered inside and said the family was still pleading for him to tell them where the child’s body is, so they could bury him with dignity.