The biological mother and stepfather of three-year-old Poppie van der Merwe, who were convicted of her murder, have been sentenced to life in prison by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.
Kobus and Louisa Koekemoer also received a further 10 years for abusing Poppie's brother and stepsister.
Judge Bert Bam said in his view, perpetrators of child abuse should be removed from society for a very long time. He said that in the case of Poppie, the Koekemoers were inherently evil seeing as they abused her for 8 months before she died. He also found that they were not remorseful, and only expressed regret when they caught and convicted.
In December 2017, Bam found the couple guilty of murdering the toddler, as well as two charges of child abuse.
The incidents took place between September 2015 and October 2016 in various locations.
The couple was arrested after Poppie died near Brits in October 2016.
Bam found that, although much of the evidence was circumstantial, it should be viewed as a "mosaic".
He added that both accused had a duty to protect the children, but had ended up blaming each other for the abuse of the children, indicating that they were both aware of what was happening.
BREAKING: Three-year-old Poppie van der Merwe's biological mother and stepfather have been sentenced to life in prison for her murder in October 2016. pic.twitter.com/7Lc9IsycF9— SABC News Online (@SABCNewsOnline) May 24, 2018