Lesbian couple found guilty of boy’s murder

A four-year-old boy died after he was brutally assaulted when he refused to call his mother’s lesbian lover ”Daddy”, The Star newspaper reported on Thursday.

Jandre’s mother, Hanelie Botha (31), and her partner Engeline de Nysschen (33) appeared in the Vereeniging Regional Court on Wednesday and were found guilty of the boy’s gruesome murder.

His father, Jan, sat in court holding the hands of his fiancée, Yolanda Deysel, and listened attentively to Magistrate Rita Willemse, who in her judgement, accepted evidence that among the reasons that led to Jandre’s brutal ordeal was his refusal to call De Nysschen ”Daddy”, the paper said.

The court had heard evidence from Lydia Nkomo and her daughter Aletta Lesiba, who worked for the couple in their tuckshop, that De Nysschen had viciously assaulted Jandre while demanding that he must call her ”Daddy”.

Both testified that while Jandre was assaulted, his mother failed to intervene or protect him. Evidence showed he had sustained horrific injuries, including a fractured skull and brain damage, as well as broken legs, collarbone, hands and pelvis.

The court accepted the evidence of Professor Mohammed Dada, a trauma expert, who said the boy’s injuries were similar to those of a person who had fallen from a double-storey building.

Delivering judgement, Willemse acknowledged there was no substantial evidence linking Hanelie to the assaults, but said she was equally guilty of murder for failing in her legal duty to protect her child against abuse and violation.

The court found she had lied to Dr Elna Gibson, one of the medical doctors who treated Jandre, by saying the boy got his injuries after he had slipped in the bath.

The doctors who had examined Jandre dismissed the pair’s version that he had slipped in the bath. They said excessive force was required to inflict the kind of fatal injuries sustained by Jandre.

Convicting the two, Willemse dismissed their version and said there was substantial medical evidence before her about the nature of the injuries suffered by Jandre.

The case was postponed until June 26 for a pre-sentencing report. – Sapa

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