Child murder suspect in court

THE family members of a seven-year-old girl who was killed in Waterloo on July 28 broke into tears at the Verulam Family Court when murder accused Laston Moodley appeared briefly on Tuesday, July 31.

It is alleged that the victim, Amanda Mila, was raped before she was stabbed in the chest at the suspect’s flat in Hammonds Farm on July 28.

More than 600 angry community members blocked George Sewpersadh Street in front of the court, demanding justice prevail for the child.

Aunt of the victim, Zinhle Myaka, said she received a phone call from neighbours alerting her about the incident on Saturday.

Myaka, who was visibly in tears, said the child died later in hospital.

“The caller said the child was injured and did not give further explanation. They told me to go to Osindisweni Hospital. Upon arrival, I noticed that the child was badly injured.

“She was transferred to Addington Hospital. I noticed that she was struggling to breathe properly,” Myaka said.

Myaka said a trail of blood from the suspect’s flat could be seen leading to the passage when he allegedly dumped the victim.

“He [the suspect] is our neighbour. According to the information that we received, he called the child into his flat and raped her before he stabbed her.

“I want him to rot in jail for what he did to my brother’s daughter,” Myaka said.

Magistrate Irfaan Khallil made a ruling that the court proceedings be translated into IsiZulu to assist those not fluent in English.

State Advocate San Bharto told the court that the suspect is charged with murder under the Criminal Procedure Act.

“There is a strong possibility that the accused might face other [additional] charges. The victim was seen entering the house of the suspect. The state opposes bail,” Bharto said.

She said that the state has credible witnesses who saw the suspect dragging the unconscious body of the victim out from his flat in Hammonds Farm.

Teachers and pupils joined in the protest to show support to the family of the victim.

Magistrate Khallil assured the residents that the court will be impartial in the matter and ensure that everything is done in a transparent manner.

“I understand that the death of person is painful. I saw the protest outside the court. This court is not taking any sides in this matter. I will do my best that these proceedings are done in a transparent manner. Everything will be interpreted in IsiZulu,’ Khallil said.

The matter was adjourned until August 10 for formal bail application.

The suspect will remain in custody until his next court appearance.