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Baby Khensani's mom breaks down

By unknown | Feb 07, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

Cynthia Mitileni broke down and cried at the Johannesburg high court after giving evidence against four men who allegedly killed her baby two years ago.

Phana Muziwenhlanhla Makhanya, 28, Menzi Hlongwa, 20, Siphamandla Sigidi Gasela, 22, and Phikani Sibongiseni Ngidi, 24, pleaded not guilty to all 14 counts, including two of murder, nine of attempted murder and one of robbery.

Makhanya and Ngidi said they would exercise their rights to remain silent, while Hlongwa and Gasela denied being anywhere near the scene.

The 15-month-old Khensani Mitileni was shot in the head during a botched robbery in the Johannesburg city centre in October 2006.

She died instantly.

Mitileni told the court that she had just alighted from a taxi when she heard gunshots and saw people running in all directions.

She said she tried to run away to save her baby but fell on the pavement.

"When I looked over my left shoulder I realised that my baby was hurt," she said.

When she unstrapped the baby she realised that she was already dead.

"I ran to the nearest shop and the woman inside took her from me when she saw I was carrying a dead baby," she told the court.

The first witness to take the stand, Inspector CF Human described to the court how the scene looked like after the shooting.

Bongani Dlamini, a Coin Security employee, told Judge Nigel Willies how he tried to fight off the robbers.

"Immediately after we had removed the drop safe, gunshots were fired," he said.

He said he tried to fight off the robbers but was shot on the right side of his stomach and fell.

"I continued shooting until I ran out of bullets," he said.

Outside court, Khensani's uncle told Sowetan that they were happy that the trial had resumed.

"We just hope it will finish quickly so that we can forget about the incident. Cynthia is not coping at all and seeing the pictures of her dead baby - that were used as exhibit - made her cry," he said.

The trial continues today.


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