3 black men get life sentences for killing blonde little Danielle Esterhuizen (5)

Protesters outside the courthouse where Danielle Esterhuizen's killers were being tried

Three men convicted of the fatal shooting of five-year-old Danielle Esterhuizen were given life sentences in the Johannesburg High Court on Wednesday, South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) news said.

Last month David Mpho Ngomane (32), Tsakane Jwaki Sithole (26) and Thabang Joseph Jane (26) were found guilty of murdering the child.

Danielle was hit by a bullet in the head while sitting on her mother’s lap during a family outing to Riebeeck Lake in Randfontein on December 20 2006.

On Wednesday, SABC news reported, the courtroom was packed with friends and family of the Esterhuizens.

Danielle’s mother, Anel, wept uncontrollably when the judge gave her ruling. She was comforted by her husband, Diederick, seated next to her.

Judge Halima Saldulker said the crime statistics this week showed that four children were murdered every day.

This was unacceptable, she said, and an outrage, a shocking indictment on society.

The three convicted men sat motionless and showed no remorse during proceedings, the SABC reported.—Sapa

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