Action Society pushes for High Court trial in Bokgabo Poo case; praises renaming of park to Bokgabo Park

The family of Bokgabo Poo, the state prosecutor in her murder case and Action Society, wants the trial of Ntokozo Zikhali to be heard in the High Court.

Zikhali appeared briefly in Benoni Magistrates Court yesterday, wearing a surgical mask, in connection with the kidnapping, rape and murder of little Bokgabo in October 2022. However, the prosecutor, Elizabeth Bisi, informed the court that the decision on where the trial will be heard had not been concluded. Accordingly, the matter was referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions for a decision, and the case was postponed to 30 March 2023.

“We want to see Bokgabo’s case tried in the High Court because of the seriousness of the crimes and to ensure the harshest sentence possible,” said Tshepi Mmekwa, Action Centre coordinator at Action Society. “It is time criminals who violate women and children, get the punishment they deserve. Unfortunately, we see too many cases where a convicted offender gets off with barely a slap on the wrist and is out of jail quickly to commit the same crimes.”

Before the court proceedings, Bokgabo’s mother, Tsholo, released balloons in the newly renamed park from where the little girl was taken. The Ekhuruleni Metro Council renamed Masoleng Park in Wattville to Bokgabo Park this past month.

In its approval, the council stated that “the council must be the core advocate about the scourge of GBV as it continues to join millions across the country in raising its voice against these senseless crimes”.

“We want to congratulate the chairperson of the Ekhuruleni Environmental Oversight Committee, Jane Nhlapo, on putting forward the motion to rename the park,” said Mmekwa. “All South Africans must take a strong stance against violence against women and children. We must remember the names of the victims of brutal crimes. The council’s gesture will ensure that Bokgabo’s memory stays alive.

During the court proceedings, Tsholo once again pleaded for more information on the missing body parts of Bokgabo.

As in the case of little Mia Botha in the Western Cape, the family has still not had any feedback from the police about progress in these cases, even after numerous requests by both the families and Action Society.

Photo credit: Thulani Mbele – Times Live

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