An appeal by the man found guilty of the 2003 murder of Cape Flats schoolgirl Sasha-Leigh Crook was dismissed by the Supreme Court of Appeal yesterday.
Moegamat Isaacs is serving a sentence of life imprisonment for murdering the 8-year-old girl.
Crook's was found stabbed to death at a rubbish dump eight days after she disappeared. She was last seen talking to Isaacs on July 6 2003. He lived with his mother next door to the girl's grandparents' home.
The state's case in the high court, which found him guilty, was built on circumstantial evidence.
Appeal Judge Mohammed Navsa said in his judgment, unanimous by a panel of three, that the high court found that Isaacs was an unimpressive witness during the trial and that he was "evasive and contradictory".
"(Isaacs's) counsel's warning to the very first witness that his client's memory was hampered by the fact that he had been under the influence of dagga at the time of Sasha-Leigh's disappearance, was contradicted by the detailed nature of his evidence," Navsa said.
Navsa said a study of the court records revealed that Isaacs attempted to tailor his answers to state evidence and that he was not relying on his memory, but was resorting to reconstruction. - Sapa