A man is convicted of causing the death of his two-year-old daughter.

Michele D’Ottavio, EyeEm, Getty Images

  • North West father Mokete Legadi has been sentenced to an effective six years in prison for the death of his two-year-old daughter in May 2021.
  • Legadi took the child to visit from her mother’s house, but later refused to take her when asked to return her.
  • The child’s cousin and neighbors conducted a search after noticing a foul smell coming from his house. They found her lifeless body wrapped in a black plastic bag hidden in the ceiling.

The North West High Court, sitting at Klerksdorp Regional Court, has sentenced a North West man to an effective six years in prison for causing the death of his two-year-old daughter.

Regional National Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Henry Mamatame said Makete Legadi was jailed for premeditated murder and miscarriage of justice stemming from the disappearance of his daughter on May 13, 2021.

According to Mamothame, Legodi, 48, took his daughter from his mother’s house in Joubert to visit him. The child’s mother was hospitalized at that time and did not consent to the meeting.

Relatives assumed that he was bringing the child, but when asked, he denied taking the child, which led to a police case on May 15.

Legadi was arrested on May 16 and charged with kidnapping, obstruction of justice and murder.

Concerned neighbors and the child’s family continued their search, which led them to Legodi’s home, where they found the child’s decomposed body hidden in the ceiling and wrapped in a black plastic bag.

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“In his defence, Legadi claimed that he and the baby fell while he was carrying her and when he realized that the baby had died from the fall, he panicked and was afraid to report the incident. He also told the court that he had consumed alcohol on the day of the incident,” Mamathame said.

The murder and kidnapping charges were dropped and changed to manslaughter.

Prosecutor’s lawyer Rijeka Krause disputed Legadi’s version of events and argued that he could have reported the incident to law enforcement.

Judge Andre Petersen complained about the psychological impact of the incident on the child’s family.

Provincial Director of Public Prosecutions, Dr. Rachel Mahari Sehaolela, praised police for bringing justice to the child’s family, saying the sentence “signifies the need for parents to be the first line of defense for their children” and stressed the importance of reporting cases to the authorities.

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