Sibonelo Mkhize – the man accused of murdering Shallcross schoolgirl Sadia Sukhraj in May – appeared in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.
He faces charges relating to the deaths of Sukhraj and that of an accomplice who died at the scene, as well as a single count of aggravated robbery.
Sadia had been with her father on a school run when he was pulled from the car while in the driveway of her grandfather’s home by armed men in Durban.
In outlining the salient facts of the case – bound for trial in the Durban High Court – prosecutor Sipho Mhlongo revealed for the first time that Sukhraj’s father Shailendra had peppered his own car with bullets as Mkhize and his alleged cohort sped away with his daughter.
“While on the way to school in the morning, her father drove her to her grandparents’ home in Himalaya Drive in Shallcross. She was seated in the rear of the car while he alighted from the vehicle. Whilst in the stationary motor vehicle in the driveway of her grandparent’s home, the accused and another assailant accosted her and her father,” said Mhlongo.
“The assailants were armed and demanded the car keys from her father at gunpoint. He threw the car keys to them, whereafter they both boarded the vehicle.
“Whilst both assailants were fleeing the scene in his vehicle with his daughter in the car, he fired several shots toward the driver with his licensed firearm,” added Mhlongo.
The nine-year-old girl’s death was caused by a gunshot wound to her chest. The other alleged hijacker was shot in the pelvis and died at the scene.
Their escape was cut short when they collided with a truck before losing control of the car‚ which spun and came to rest in a neighbourhood park. One of the men fled the scene. Mkhize was arrested.
From whose gun the fatal bullet was fired is only likely to be brought into sharp focus when the matter proceeds to trial.
Mkhize will appear in the Durban High Court on November 19.