The family of nine-year-old Miguel Louw says he can now rest in peace since the man who took his life will be serving a 25 years prison sentence. Judge Jacqueline Henriques sentenced Mohammed Ebrahim for the kidnapping and murder of Louw. Handing down her sentence in the Durban High Court, the judge noted that Ebrahim had shown no remorse.
She referred to the killing as a crime of passion since Ebrahim had a relationship with Miguel’s mother.
A handful of family members were in court, clad in white T-shirts bearing Miguel’s face. His mother was not there.
In July 2018, Ebrahim lured Miguel to go with him one afternoon after school. That was the last time the nine-year-old was seen alive.
For six weeks the community searched for the boy in Sydenham. But by fluke, his decomposed body was found in a shallow grave near Ebrahim’s home, in Phoenix.
It was a policeman in pursuit of two suspects who stumbled upon Miguel.
File video: Miguel Louw laid to rest:
Since then his family wanted justice.
Louw’s aunt, Thashnim Dos Santos, says the sentence is fair.
“We are just so grateful to God that finally justice has been served and our baby can rest in peace and I think the judgment was fair and we are just so grateful to the community and everyone. This is an example to someone that doing what Vahed did to us and robbed an innocent child of his life and finally after so many years of running up and down at least, his father and he can rest in peace. We as the family are trying to move on even though it will never be the same, as the day he died he took a part of all of us. It is going to be a journey going forward. ”
— Nonkululeko Hlophe (@Leko3) May 5, 2021
Meanwhile, Dos Santos says the family still has many unanswered questions because Ebrahim did not testify during the trial.
“It is so frustrating knowing that he is a human and he claimed that he loved Miguel so much. And the fact that he showed absolutely no remorse; it is heartbreaking knowing that there are people out there, there are monsters out there that can still walk around and act like they are innocent after taking an innocent person’s life and even not standing up and telling us giving the family closure, what transpired and why he did what he did it is emotionally much more heartbreaking knowing that we will never know what happened.”
In handing down the sentence, Judge Jacqueline Henriques weighed up arguments by both the state and defence. Ebrahim killed the 9-year old boy after his mother broke up with him. During sentencing, Ebrahim sat still in the dock.
“In respect of count one, the theft, the accused is sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, in respect of count two the kidnapping, the accused is sentenced to eight years imprisonment, in respect of count three murder, the accused is sentenced to 25 years imprisonment. In light of the accumulative sentence imposed, it is ordered that the sentences imposed on counts one and two are to run concurrently with the sentence imposed on count three, thus the accused is sentenced to an effective 25 years imprisonment,” read the judge.
Judge Henriques also declared Ebrahim unfit to own a firearm.