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Cuburne Van Wyk's family demand apology from killer

The family says they're relieved Nathaniel Mpoku was found guilty and now hope for a lengthy sentence.

FILE: Cuburn van Wyk’s grandmother, Daphany Fredericks and the boy’s mother Lezell van Wyk outside court. Picture: Thando Kubheka/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Cuburne Van Wyk's family wants an apology from the man convicted of killing the little boy.

On Thursday Nathaniel Mpoku was found guilty of kidnapping and murdering the child in August after a passerby discovered his body at a dumping site.

The High Court sitting in Palm Ridge refuted his story that the boy begged him for biscuits and that he left him with older children.

Van Wyk's aunt Leanne Philips maintains that Mpoku lied about the day the boy disappeared and how he was involved in his murder.

"When I hear the story about the biscuits, Cuburne died over two biscuits, but it's okay."

She says their faith helped them get through the difficult time.

"God carried us through this trial and he is still with us. I believe the sentencing will bring closure for Cuburne's mother. The accused lied and everyone, including the judge saw that."

Judge George Maluleke said Mpoku didn't dispute some of the crucial evidence that placed him directly at the crime scene.

"There was a witness; you saw a man whom you could not identify carrying a child into the plantation on his shoulders."

The judge said it was impossible for the boy to walk so far to the area where his body was discovered and that it's clear Mpoku carried him and killed him.

Mpoku had claimed van Wyk followed him around begging for biscuits but claimed the boy left with other children.

Judge Maluleke said witnesses who told the court that Mpoku was the last person seen with the boy gave extremely strong evidence.

"Motive or no motive, a child was killed and was burnt. That there was no DNA to link the accused cannot be elevated to above the direct evidence, strong circumstantial evidence, that links the accused with the crime."

His burnt body was discovered at a dumping site at the Ramaphosa informal settlement but Mpoku says he never harmed the boy.

Van Wyk's family says it is relieved the judge found his murderer guilty and says they are hoping for a lengthy sentence.

Father Elroy Petersen said they hope to find some closure now that they know their son's murderer will not walk free.

"If the judge can give him a good sentence that we expect, then maybe we can get closure because at this moment the closure is a bit down."

Mpoku will be back in court next month when sentencing proceedings will start.