Limpopo High Court in Polokwane on Tuesday jailed a heartless man for 25 years after admitting to kidnapping, defeating the ends of justice, raping and murdering, a three-year-old girl.
Jeffrey Muronga, 29 pleaded guilty to the charges. He admitted that on November 17, 2020, in Vingerkrant, Bela Bela he came across a three-year- old Melania Ruben, who had been playing around with other children in the area.
Muronga told the court that he requested the child to follow him into his house and asked her to seat down on top of his bed.
The court heard a chilling confession how Muronga killed an innocent little girl, saying he took the knife, stabbed her in the neck, causing her to bleed profusely, and then raped her before finishing her off with an axe strike to the head.
He added that he wrapped the toddler’s lifeless body in a duvet, put it in a garbage bag, and disposed of it at a dumping site.
The accused thereafter ran away and spent five days on a farm in Dooring Lagter.
Muronga said he later returned to his work at FaraCare Wildlife, where his employer ordered his co-workers to lock him in a shipping container and then contacted the police.
Muronga admitted to the callous crime he had perpetrated and expressed remorse for his actions.
When he confessed that his acts had led to the girl’s death, he further pleaded with the judge, the parents, the deceased family, and members of the public for their forgiveness.
Judge Kganyago made the following remarks as he handed down his sentence: “The deceased was just a very innocent little girl who died a very tragic death at the hands of Muronga, and the murder was brutal and senseless.”
The judge sentenced Muranga to an effective 25 years in prison after hearing terrifying testimony.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) praised the efforts of the forensics team, investigating officer, Captain Dana Smith, and Advocate Nkheteni Munyai for making it feasible for the criminal to be found guilty and sentenced to a lengthy prison term.