Lover killed child to spite mom: Court

An Mpumalanga mother, whose lover is accused of raping and killing her eight-year-old daughter, said the man told her he killed the child to exact vengeance.

Edgar Charles Mabunda, 31, of Timbavati Trust, was arrested last year following the murder of his girlfriend's daughter, Miranda Shongile Mayinga, on July 29.

He pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, rape and kidnapping in the Nelspruit circuit of the High Court in Pretoria on Monday, a Sapa correspondent reported.

The court heard that the girl was kidnapped while walking to school with other school children on the morning of July 29, 2013.

Instead of taking her to school, Mabunda drove her to a bush where he raped and strangled her, the court heard.

Her half-naked body was found on its back in the bushes in New Forest, with her socks tied around her neck.

"On that day, I received two phone calls from the accused through a telephone. He said he had killed Miranda because I refused to let him perform rituals for our newborn child," testified the victim's mother, Constance Mathebula.

"He said her body was in Mhlanga bushes. After I answered the second call, I realised there was a message on my cellphone in Xitsonga. It came from Edgar's cellphone, saying he had killed Miranda."

Mathebula said that when she called and asked her mother to go and look for her daughter at the school, she was told the girl was not there.

"I then informed both my parents what Edgar had told me. I did not go look for her and I was later informed her body had been discovered," she said.

Mathebula said she and Mabunda had been in a relationship since September 2012. He resided at her parents' home and they had a baby girl born in July 2013.

"On July 26 he wanted to see the child and take her to his home to perform rituals but I refused. My family are Christians and we don't perform rituals," she said.

Mathebula said Mabunda also threatened to kill her.

During a trial within a trial, he testified that Mhala police assaulted him to point out the crime scene and also forced him to make confession.

Judge Peter Mabuse postponed the case to Wednesday for further testimony.

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