Heyns remained stone-faced as Judge Babalwa Mantame sentenced him to life at the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday for the premeditated murder of little Kaithlyn Wilson in Riebeek West on 30 July 2017.
Heyns, 35, was also slapped with an extra 30 days behind bars for being in contempt of court after he had been in a drugged state one day during his trial.
Last month he was found guilty of killing the child, but not guilty of kidnapping her.
His co-accused, August Pedro Swartz, 21, was also found not guilty of the kidnapping but convicted of being an accessory to murder, and sentenced to six years behind bars.
Mantame said Swartz was a good candidate for rehabilitation and that he had no previous convictions or pending cases.
Swartz helped Heyns hide Kaithlyn’s body and showed cops where they had buried her, under a thorn bush.
Heyns, who has 15 previous convictions relating to assault and indecent assault, took the witness stand last month asking Kaithlyn’s mother, Yvonne Wilson, her ouma Sophia Wilson, dad Johnny Cloete and the community for forgiveness for taking her life.
He said he did not have the guts to go into detail about how he murdered her.
But Mantame rejected this as a last-gasp attempt by Heyns to get a lighter sentence.
She described him as a self-absorbed control freak who wanted to punish Yvonne for leaving him: “Accused one wanted to rape the soul of the deceased’s mother by killing her child.
“Remorse is non-existent. To him, women are things.
“The court observed the actions of the accused before the court, the manner in which the murder was planned and the manner where the body of the deceased was placed shows a lack of respect for an innocent defenseless child.
“They sat in the dock and at times they smiled, their apology was selfish and self- absorbed.”
She said Yvonne was left shattered, holding onto her daughter’s clothes after her death, and sleeping with her blanket for comfort, while contemplating killing herself out of grief.
Heyns, who had dated Yvonne for 13 months after he was granted parole, had on two separate occasions assaulted and insulted the mother.
On the day Kaithlyn was killed, she left her child with her mother and went to work.
The child had been playing near Heyns’ home and was last seen entering his property where he had fixed her bicycle.
When Yvonne returned home from work, she could not find Kaithlyn and the community launched a search.
Both Heyns and Swartz denied knowing her whereabouts.
But witnesses told police they saw the duo pushing a wheelbarrow with a black dirt bin on it.
A few hours into his interrogation, Swartz caved and admitted that Kaithlyn was dead.
The child was found with black insulation tape wrapped around her nose and eyes and had a face cloth stuffed in her mouth.
A post-mortem revealed she suffocated to death.
As Heyns was led away by cops, the family shouted at him: “Jy moet vrek, jy is ’* moordenaar.”
Heyns responded by swearing at Yvonne, saying: “Jou ma se * ***, voetsek, jou * ***.”
Outside court, Sophia was overcome with emotion and said Heyns “must die inside prison”.
WARNING: Video contains foul language