JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Sentencing of the man convicted of killing three-year-old Lee Mentoor has been delayed.
Judge Daniel Mogotsi stood the matter down to allow Onke Mashinini to meet the probation officer again.
Testifying on Friday morning, probation officer Dakalo Tshisaphungo said she felt Mashinini was not remorseful, as despite the conviction, he maintained his innocence.
Tshisaphungo said she met with Mashinini twice at Johannesburg Prison. At the first meeting, he asked for time to write a letter to Mentoor’s mother, Kayla.
When she returned a week later, the letter was unfinished and he told Tshisaphungo he was no longer emotionally ready to meet Kayla.
Mashinini did write a three-page letter to her, in which he said he was sorry for being “careless by giving the child to unknown people”. He also offered to raise funds to be used to find Lee, because he knew the little boy was alive.
The probation officer said during a consultation she could see Mashinini wanted to say something, but held back.
Mashinini told his lawyer the probation officer was correct and that he wanted to meet her again.
Mogotsi acceded to his request.
Sentencing proceedings are expected to resume after their discussion.
Mentoor expressed frustration at the delay.
“It’s been nerve-racking to go through the trial, and to see him try to buy more time is just hurting. What is it that he wants to say now that he couldn’t say all along?” she asked, as tears filled her eyes outside the courtroom.
She said she hoped Mashinini received a sentence that would deter like-minded people from committing the same crime.
Source Times Live