Killer who set fire to girl says ‘sorry’

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - ZELDA VEN­TER

ONE of the killers of a teenager who was burnt to death as a re­sult of a love tri­an­gle, handed a let­ter to the Gaut­eng High Court, Pre­to­ria, in which she told the vic­tim’s par­ents that she was ter­ri­bly sorry for what she had done.

She said in the let­ter that she un­der­stood that they were an­gry with her, but she never meant to kill their daugh­ter.

Cyn­thia Mo­supi, 24, and her co-ac­cused Gugu Th­wala, 23, were ear­lier con­victed of mur­der­ing Boit­o­melo Dlamini by set­ting her alight.

Both women pleaded not guilty to mur­der and said they sim­ply wanted to teach Dlamini a les­son for hav­ing an af­fair with Mo­supi’s boyfriend, who was also the fa­ther of her child.

Ac­cord­ing to them they poured petrol over their vic­tim to scare her, but things went wrong when some­one lit a cig­a­rette nearby and she went up in flames.

Mo­supi told Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela yes­ter­day that she wanted to apol­o­gise to Dlamini’s fam­ily, but she was too afraid to do so.

“What I’ve done to their child was so painful. I can’t be­lieve that they would want me to visit. As a par­ent I can put my­self in their shoes. It would have hurt me so badly to lose my only daugh­ter. Even I would wish that the cul­prits would pay for what they’ve done. I’m ready to pay for my deeds,” she said in tears.

Her el­dest sis­ter Nancy Modise tes­ti­fied that the fam­ily tried sev­eral times to make con­tact with the vic­tim’s fam­ily to apol­o­gise but they re­fused. They were also scared be­cause the fam­ily made threats to burn them and their house.

She said they didn’t con­done what her sis­ter had done and as a par­ent her­self she would feel the same as the vic­tim’s fam­ily.

Dlamini’s fam­ily told a so­cial worker that they were still ex­tremely an­gry at the ac­cused for what they had done. Dlamini was an only child and her mother, Ana Dlamini, said she tried to be away from home as of­ten as pos­si­ble, as ev­ery­thing there re­minded her of her daugh­ter.

The mother said she also avoided fam­ily gath­er­ings as the rest of the fam­ily would at­tend with their chil­dren. “I miss her voice as she al­ways called me ‘Mama’,” she told the so­cial worker.

The wo­man said she was an­gry with the ju­di­cial sys­tem as she doubted that the cul­prits would re­ceive a life sen­tence for what they had done.

The court ear­lier found that Mo­supi planned the killing, while Twala did not know what the plans were when they kid­napped Dlamini that day. The judge, how­ever, found that Twala should have fore­seen that Dlamini could die when they poured the petrol over her and she was set alight. Dlamini went up in flames on June 18, 2015, sim­ply be­cause she had a love af­fair with Mo­supi’s former boyfriend.

Judge Maumela ear­lier com­mented on how Mo­supi showed no emo­tion while she watched a video where Dlamini pleaded for her life.

The video was taken on the day of the in­ci­dent, shortly be­fore Dlamini was burnt. Her charred body was later dis­cov­ered in a veld near Klip­gat, north of Pre­to­ria.

Their friend Vic­tor Pi­lane was at the scene dur­ing the in­ci­dent and took a video clip on his cell­phone. This de­picted Dlamini cry­ing and plead­ing for her life, while she was al­legedly at­tacked and held down by the ac­cused, af­ter petrol was poured over her head.

Dlamini was ab­ducted from the Eletsa Sec­ondary School in Leth­la­bile, shortly af­ter she wrote an exam.

Sen­tenc­ing pro­ceed­ings were post­poned to March 20.

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