South Africa

JUSTICE TRACKER

Daily roll call of arrests, NPA prosecutions and convictions – 2 March 2022

Daily roll call of arrests, NPA prosecutions and convictions – 2 March 2022

A round-up of successful criminal prosecutions, arrests or ongoing matters in South Africa courts based on media releases from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). This is done to reflect on the rule of law and to make justice visible.

  • Gauteng

The trial of a 33-year-old man accused of murdering a woman was delayed in the high court in Palm Ridge on Wednesday, 2 March.

This, after counsel from Legal Aid South Africa told the court that he would no longer be representing murder accused Brian Thamsanga Somfako.

According to NPA regional spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana, the accused allegedly assaulted Samantha Zungu with a steel pipe on 13 August 2021. Somfako took Zungu to the hospital, where she later died. The case is back in court on Thursday for Legal Aid to appoint another lawyer for the accused.

  • Limpopo

The Limpopo High Court has handed Tshepo Boshielo (34) a double life sentence for the rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl from Maserumula Park in Nebo.

The attack took place on 25 December 2015. Police reports indicate that the victim was walking alone when Boshielo raped and murdered her. Her body was discovered by a passerby near her home.

The accused was only arrested in 2019 after DNA testing linked him to another two rape cases. 

Boshielo pleaded not guilty to the charges but was convicted on both the rape and murder charges. During sentencing, prosecutor George Makhudu asked the court not to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence as the crimes committed were serious.

Judge Gerrit Muller agreed with the state, referring to the need to fight the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide in the country, thereby sentencing the accused to life imprisonment on each count.

  • Eastern Cape

The High Court in the Eastern Cape division handed down a life sentence to a former traffic officer for murdering his girlfriend. The court also sentenced Fanele Nxuseka (38) to an additional 12 years for kidnapping.

Evidence presented in court indicated that Nxuseka, who is married, was in an abusive extramarital affair. Nxuseka had discovered that she was HIV positive and believed that she might have passed on the virus to him and his wife. She did not disclose to him that she was on antiretroviral treatment.

“On 24 May 2020, he went to the girlfriend’s home in the Ngobozana area, in the district of Lusikisiki, and demanded that she leave with him. The girlfriend left her cellphone with her sister and told her that she might not be coming back alive,” said Eastern Cape NPA spokesperson Luxolo Tyali.

When the victim did not return, her family began searching for her. Her body was found with multiple gunshot wounds in neighbouring Mmangweni village.

The accused was arrested the following day, 21 May 2020. Ballistic tests conducted on the cartridges found on the scene positively linked them to the firearm issued by the state to the former traffic officer.

  • KwaZulu-Natal

A 32-year-old father was sentenced to life imprisonment in the Verulam Regional Court for the rape of his 10-year-old daughter in November 2019 in the Cottonlands area.

According to Natasha Ramkisson-Kara, NPA spokesperson in KZN, the girl and her eight-year-old brother visited their father who lived with their grandmother. But when they got there, they discovered their granny had gone out and their father was alone in his room.

“After speaking to them for a while, the father gave the boy his cellphone and sent him to another room, while he closed the door and raped the girl. He gave her a sanitary pad to wear as she had started bleeding,” Ramkisson-Kara said.

The father then took his children back to their mother. The rape came to light when the mother asked her daughter about the sanitary pad.

They reported the matter to the police and the girl was taken to the Thuthuzela Care Centre at the Mahatma Gandhi Hospital in Phoenix, where she received medico-legal and psycho-social assistance.

The suspect evaded police for months before being apprehended.

In aggravation of sentence, prosecutor Nondumiso Cele submitted a victim impact statement to the court. In the statement, compiled by the girl and facilitated by court preparation officer Bongiwe Qwabe, the victim said she felt embarrassed and could no longer play with the children in the area as they knew what happened to her.

  • Mpumalanga

A 25-year-old man accused of murdering his 68-year-old grandmother appeared briefly in the Nelspruit Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Jay Peters stayed with his grandmother Susanna Kilmister (68) in Cromdale, Mbombela. The murder took place on Monday, 28 February 2022.

It is alleged that the accused and the victim became embroiled in a heated argument, during which Peters assaulted the victim. She later died. He was apprehended on the same day.

Peters faces charges of murder, malicious damage to property and defeating the ends of justice. The matter was postponed to Thursday, 10 March, for a bail application.

  • North West

The North West High Court has set a trial date for Mokete Legodi, who is accused of murdering his two-year-old daughter.

The State has provided Legodi’s attorney with an indictment and the matter is ready for trial. According to the indictment, the lifeless body of the toddler was discovered inside the ceiling of Legodi’s home in Alabama, near Klerksdorp.

It is alleged that on Thursday, 13 May 2021, the accused went to his girlfriend’s home at Extension 20 in Johannesburg and took their daughter without the consent of the mother, who was in hospital at the time.

When the mother was discharged from hospital the following day, she went searching for her daughter. She could not find the child and filed a report at the Jouberton Police Station.

Legodi was arrested on 16 May 2021 and charged with kidnapping after he failed to reveal the child’s whereabouts. On 17 May, following reports of a bad smell coming from the accused’s home, neighbours investigated and discovered the body of the child hidden in the ceiling. 

Legodi is back in court on 30 May. He remains in custody. DM

 

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