Nathaniel Mpoku, the man accused of kidnapping and brutally murdering Reiger Park toddler Cuburne van Wyk in 2014 has been found guilty of his crimes.
Mpoku, also known as “Chicken” in the Reiger Park, received his judgement in the South Gauteng High Court on Thursday.
Little Cuburne went missing on the 6th of August 2014 near his family home while playing with siblings in Reiger Park, Ekhuruleni. His body was found by a man walking through a dump close to the toddler’s home three days later. His body was burnt from the neck down.
Dr Akmal Khan, A pathologist who testified in Mpoku’s trial said that the child was strangled and burnt alive during his gruesome attack.
Throughout the trial, Mpoku maintained his innocence telling that the court that the toddler had followed him around that fateful day asking him for biscuits, claiming to eventually give in to the child’s request and then leaving him with older children to look after him.
Judge George Maluleke who presided over the trial sitting in Palm Ridge told Mpoku that his defense was filled with many untruths. Judge Maluleke proceeded to find him guilty for kidnapping and murder.
little Cuburne’s family made an emotional exit from the court.
In a statement made outside of the court , Elroy Pietersen, the father of the three-year-old told the press that communities all of South Africa need to come together and make a bigger effort when it comes to the safety of children.
He went on to say that he hopes that Mpoku gets a life sentence for what he did to his son and that the verdict will not bring back their son, but will give the family peace.
Pietersen said there needed to be a more concerted effort by communities to look out for the safety of children in their neighbourhoods.
The case has been adjourned until sentencing proceedings take place on the 5th of June.