Sibonelo Mkhize is expected to appear in court on Monday for the murder trial of 9-year-old Sadia Sukhraj who was killed during a botched hijacking.
Mkhize, 35, who during his last appearance opted to be represented by Legal Aid, is expected to stand trial in the Durban High Court.
He is facing charges of murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances following Sadia’s death in Shallcross, Chatsworth in Durban on May 28.
According to court papers, Mkhize’s accomplice Siyabonga Bulose, was killed as the duo attempted to flee from the crime scene.
On that fateful day, the duo allegedly demanded car keys from Sadia’s father, well-known Pastor Shailendra Sukhraj at gunpoint.
Sukhraj threw the keys at them and while both were fleeing the scene with Sadia inside the vehicle, Shalendra fired several gunshots towards the driver with his licensed firearm.
The Grade 4 pupil at Everest Primary was shot in her abdomen and was taken to Chatsmed Hospital where she later succumbed to her injuries.
Her cause of death was a gunshot wound to the chest. Bulose died immediately after the car came to a stop. His cause of death was described as a penetrating gunshot wound to the pelvis.
Sadia’s death sparked massive public outcry over crime in Chatsworth.
Mkhize was arrested by an off-duty police officer a short distance from Sadia’s grandparents’ home.
Mkhize previously claimed in court that police beat him, but prosecutor Surekha Marimuthoo disputed this and countered that Mkhize sustained his injuries from a public beating during his arrest.
The State is expected to call 33 witnesses to testify in the murder case.