Baby Zahnia murder: One accused admits to hiding car used in shooting
Step One in an Ocean View couple's quest for justice for their murdered baby girl, 6-month-old Zahnia Woodward, is done.
This the couple said on Tuesday after a woman was convicted of obstructing the course of justice, following a drive-by shooting which led to the death of their only child as bullets rained down near a public park two years ago.
"I am satisfied with the four years," Cindy Woodward said after Simaney Kindo was sentenced.
On Tuesday, Kindo entered into a plea and sentencing agreement with the State in which she admitted to hiding the VW Golf used in the shooting, which took place on December 30, 2016.
According to the State's summary of facts, Christopher September, Larry Johnson Taswill Kriel and Morné May had been driving in Johnson's VW Golf in Ocean View in the late afternoon of December 30, 2016. Each of the men was allegedly armed with a gun and opened fire on people as they sat on the pavement near a local park.
Bullet hit her in the head
After firing a volley of bullets, they allegedly shot at two people who attempted to stop them as they fled.
Six-month-old Zahnia had been sitting with her father Bradley Robyn near the pavement of the park. She was shot while she was on his arm. Robyn had reached for her dummy, which she spat out, when the bullet hit her in the head.
Her father was also shot in the thigh but managed to drive Zahnia to a hospital. Four other people were hit during the shooting and six others, who were also shot at, escaped uninjured.
Cindy had returned from work and had just stepped out of a taxi when she heard that her baby had been hit. Zahnia died in the ambulance while she was on her way to Red Cross Children's Hospital.
According to Kindo, Mirriam Johnson - Larry Johnson's mother - asked her to find people to remove the car from Luntu Street, Masiphumelele on New Year's Eve two years ago as police were looking for the vehicle and it would "get them into trouble" if found.
The VW Golf was moved around to various locations to keep it hidden and Kindo also removed the alloy wheels in order to change the car's appearance.
"Although I was not fully aware of the specific crime the vehicle was used for, it came to my attention at a later stage that it was used during a shooting incident wherein Zahnia Woodward… was shot and killed and 11 other people were shot or shot at. I continued hiding or concealing the whereabouts of the vehicle," she admitted.
Kindo - who was convicted of attempted murder six years ago - was arrested on July 21, 2017 after the car was discovered.
'Starts like this'
After Kindo's conviction, a smiling Cindy said she was happy that at least one of the accused had been convicted.
"If it starts like this, everything must go [well] from here," she said.
"I didn't expect more for [Kindo] because she didn't shoot my Zahni herself. I'm just happy [my baby] is at least getting justice."
Robyn said he was happy with the sentence, "as long as [Kindo] speaks".
The trial of the remaining five was expected to get under way on Tuesday, however an outstanding report led to the matter being postponed.
The defence advocates wanted to consult their clients once the document was received before their pleas were entered.
The trial resumes on Wednesday.
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