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Man accused of rape and murder of Khayelitsha girl (4) to appear in court

Uyathandwa Stuurman disappeared while playing at her grandparents’ home in Makhaza on Monday evening.

Four-year-old Uyathandwa Stuurman. Picture: Lauren Isaacs/EWN.

CAPE TOWN – A man arrested in connection with the rape and murder of a four-year-old Khayelitsha girl is expected to appear in court on Thursday.

Uyathandwa Stuurman disappeared while playing at her grandparents’ home in Makhaza on Monday evening.

Her body was found on a nearby field about two hours later.

The child's grandfather has told Eyewitness News that the suspect is known to the family.

Thandi Msuthu of community group The Khayelitsha Development Forum visited grieving relatives on Tuesday.

“It’s very terrible, it’s very sad indeed. I can’t even explain what I’ve heard from the grandfather, how did it happen. Our world is so cruel, our people are so cruel.”

At the same time, community support for the grieving family is planned for the first court appearance of the suspect.

John Mvula says that while his grandchild’s alleged killer is not a family friend, some relatives do know who he is.

The grief-stricken man rushed to the scene, where the little girl’s body was found dumped on a field around the corner from his home late on Monday.

Mvula explains that he saw the child lying on the ground with her hands bound.

She’d been stabbed in the chest.

“I’m feeling very bad because this child was depending on me. I was everything to the child… I was her breadwinner and also clothed her. It’s very hurtful to me as to how my child can just die.”

The Khayelitsha Development Forum says it’s disgusted and will rally community members to attend court proceedings later this week in support of the victim’s family.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)