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Cuburne van Wyk murder trial draws to a close

The accused, Nathaniel Katlego Mpoku, has been charged with kidnapping and murder of the three-year-old boy.

FILE: Three-year-old Cuburne van Wyk’s mother Lezell being comforted outside court following another postponement in his murder case. 17 December 2014. Picture: Thando Kubheka/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Legal teams in the Cuburne van Wyk murder trial are expected to present closing arguments in the High Court sitting in Palm Ridge on Monday morning.

The accused, Nathaniel Katlego Mpoku, has been charged with kidnapping and murder after the three-year-old boy disappeared in Reiger Park in August last year.

His burnt body was discovered a few days later at a dumping site.

Last week Mpoku denied harming the child.

Van Wyk's aunt Leanne Phillips said the boy's mother is struggling to cope with his death.

"God must work through the heart of the judge so she can give the sentence she wants. We can say we didn't know our child, our child was playing with his siblings, we know him."

Last week, the state questioned Mpoku's evidence in chief, pointing out that he changed his account of how van Wyk allegedly followed him around begging for biscuits before he disappeared.

The state then put it to the accused that instead of chasing the boy away he kidnapped and killed him - a charge Mpoku denies.

Van Wyk's family outside court said that the accused knew the boy often saw Mpoku at their house.

The child's aunt, Lenora de Wee, left the courtroom saying everything Mpoku says is a complete lie.