Action Story: 10-year-old Mbekweni girl murdered and found in trunk

“Seeing so many parents prepare their children for school this week made me cry because I will never be able to dress my child and take her to school ever again,” said Julia Zenzile, mother of 10-year-old Lihle, who was murdered early in January.

Sitting inside her home with tears rolling down her cheeks, she recalls the last time she saw her child sleeping peacefully as she made her way to work in the morning.

Lihle’s lifeless body was found in a white trunk in her parents’ bedroom on 6 January in Mbekweni in Paarl. Zenzile said she was still shocked by what had occurred; for her, it was still unreal.

After she disappeared, family members looked for Lihle. They asked a relative where she was, but he did not alert them to a location at the time. However, according to the police, the suspect turned himself in and directed the police to the crime scene later that day.

The 18-year-old boy appeared in court on 16 January, the day of Lihle’s funeral.

“I remember buying her new school clothes a day before her death, and we talked about the salon.

“She never got to see and wear the new clothes I got and start a new grade this year. It is so emotional seeing parents get excited and preparing for school, and here I am, my baby is gone,” she said.

Zenzile added that she had lost both family members, her daughter and the suspect.

“It breaks my heart; it really does. This whole thing is complicated because we are family. I just want justice, and the law has to deal with him,” she said.

The suspect is expected back in court on 27 February 2023.

Action Society received a mandate from Lihle’s mother to support and act as a watching brief to oversee the prosecution on behalf of the family.

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