Parents of kidnapped, raped, murdered and dismembered Wattville toddler Bokgabo Poo despondent

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Murder accused Ntokozo Zikhali remains in custody till his trial resumes in July
Murder accused Ntokozo Zikhali remains in custody till his trial resumes in July
Fani Mahuntsi

It shouldn't be this hard to get justice for the gruesome murder of their tiny tot. But 4-year-old Bokgabo Poo's family feels that it's been a struggle not only to get justice but to take part in the process of getting it.

The man accused of her murder was back in court on 30 March 2023, and the Watville community showed up in its numbers to support the family. But Bokgabo's father can't help but feel frustrated and dismayed.

Last time they were limited to bringing five people inside the court, but this time it only five.

Still, the resolute community members sing and chant slogans outside the Benoni Magistrate's Court today as the murdered toddler's parents debate and plead with officials to let the family come inside.

They come out disappointed as they're told the trial will begin in July. It's all too much for Bokgabo’s, parents Tsholofelo Poo and Irvin Ndlovu.

“I must wait another [three] months to hear where my daughter’s body parts are. I am used to the postponement, and I am sad that they will prolong this process. July is far but we will wait and we will keep on coming here in numbers because my daughter deserves justice, and I will make sure that I fight for her justice,” Irvin tells Drum.

Schools are closed and the toddler's cousins are outside singing along with the community members, wearing black T-shirts with a picture of Bokgabo. Her four-year-old cousin, Kgothatso Maoto, is among them, holding a poster calling for justice for his cousin who kidnapped, raped, killed and dismembered.

body parts, child rape, kidnapping murder, Benoni
Bokgabo's cousin, Kgothatso Poo

One of the community members shouted in the crowd: “Siyohlala sihamba nabo, ngeke baze bodwa la eCourt.” Loosely translated “We will always show our support they don’t have to come to court on their own while we are still alive.”

Read more | 'I replay her old recordings' - Bokgabo's father on birthdays, Valentine's Day without his baby girl

The murder accused, Ntokozo Zikhali (30), was accused of raping a 9-year-old on 8 August 2021. He paid R2 000 for bail on that case, and now that he has a second case, the state withdrew that first matter and added it to the new case for which he appeared at the Benoni Magistrate Court's sitting at Regional Court in front of Magistrate R Motsomane. 

Ntokozo is now facing two charges of rape, murder, and kidnaping, State Advocate Geminah Mbelengwa told the court, adding that an indictment had been served and the case is ready for trial.

“The indictment was served to the accused with a list of possible witnesses. The State is ready for trial, and charges are to be preserved in all cases. We have joined the old case with the new one because on the old he is on bail and the new one is keeping him in custody. The old count will be counted with the new case.”

Defence legal aid attorney Marlene Clarence confirmed that she received the indictment and asked for time to go through it.

“I confirm that I received the indictment, and I will thoroughly go through it before the trial begins.”

body parts, child rape, kidnapping murder, Benoni
Bokgabo's mother Tsholofelo Poo outside court.

The matter is moved to the High Court of South Africa, and it will be sitting at Benoni Magistrate's Court in July.

The family tells Drum that they are not happy but they feel they must fight for justice and then also fight for the justice system to treat them like humans.

Read more | Bokgabo Poo's family still wants to know where her alleged killer hid her intestines, arm and leg

“The community members are the reason why we can show up to court it is because of the support we got from the community," says Irvin.

"Every time we come to court, we must fight for us to be in the same room with the man who killed my daughter.

"The officers are nice to him and always give us problems.

"We spent 15 minutes today fighting with them because we wanted to enter the courtroom. It hurts because we are fighting.” 

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