Suspect appears in court for murder of Khayelitsha child

Members of Uyathandwa Stuurman's community outside the Khayelitsha Magistrate's court where the man accused of her murder was sent for psychiatric assessment. Photo by Phinda Kula

Community members say that there should be no place for those who murder children in Khayelitsha

The Khayelitsha Magistrate court was fully packed on Thursday with members of the community who accompanied the family of Uyathandwa Stuurman to see the man accused of her murder. The four-year-old went missing on Monday on her way home from her grandmother’s house, not far from her home in Makhaza township.

The prosecutor Andrew Edem told the court how Uyathandwa was killed with multiple stab wounds. “The victim’s throat was slit with a knife in the shack of the accused,” he said. The accused borrowed the knife from a neighbour and returned it with blood stains, Edem charges, and he used a wheelie bin to dump the victim’s body on a nearby field within hours of the little girl’s disappearance.

The accused is Andile Gamda, of no known connection to the victim. He told the court he does not have a lawyer and will apply for a legal aid lawyer. His bail application would not be heard, the magistrate decided, until he had undergone psychiatric evaluation.

Uyathandwa’s grandfather Daneleni John Mvula (52) said that the family is unhappy with this delay in prosecution. “The accused is mentally fit, there is nothing wrong with his state of mind as he confessed that he killed my grandchild,” said Mvula.

Speaking to journalists, Khayelitsha Development Forum chairperson, Ndithini Thyido condemned the killing of Stuurman. “It’s a barbaric, cowardly act by an animal who foolishly betrayed an innocent child’s trust whilst hurting the entire community in the process,” he said.

The Uyathandwa Stuurman will be laid to rest on Sunday, 29 July.

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