“It is undisputed that the mother of the deceased was walking with her two sons to school when they were attacked. Her youngest son was killed during the incident"
The man accused of brutally murdering six-year-old Kutlwano Garesape, who tried to protect his mother from her alleged rapist, will know on Friday whether he is guilty or not.
Tefelo Dikole is accused of stabbing Garesape to death and of attempting to rape the boy’s mother, Evelyn Garesape.
Closing arguments were heard yesterday in the Northern Cape High Court where Dikole’s trial was concluded.
The State, represented by Advocate Kenny Kgatwe, said that there were overwhelming testimony from witnesses stating that Dikole had killed Garesape.
“It is undisputed that the mother of the deceased was walking with her two sons to school when they were attacked. Her youngest son was killed during the incident. The testimony of Evelyn and that of her other son, Thabiso, corroborate each other.
“It was also Thabiso’s testimony that they were walking to school after they missed the school bus. Both testified that the accused asked for R2 after which he tried to stab Evelyn with a broken bottle,” said Kgatwe.
He added that the testimony of Thabiso, although he is only nine years old, was supported by that of witnesses who came to the aid of him and his mother.
“Three witnesses – Stuurman, Moeng and Radebe – corroborated Thabiso’s testimony that he was sent to get help when his mother and brother were being attacked. According to the witnesses they chased the suspect from the scene of the crime to Proefplaas.”
Kgatwe said although there was some contradiction regarding what the accused was wearing on the morning of the incident, this did not take away from the overwhelming evidence that the accused was the one who killed the child.
“The arresting officer said the accused was wearing blue pants with white stripes whereas three witnesses stated he was wearing black pants. The accused was, however, positively identified during the identity parade held after the incident,” he said.
Kgatwe added that although it might not have been the plan to kill the deceased, he (the accused)however turned his attention to the child.
The State conceded that the attack was not on the child. The target of the accused was the mother. “I submit that the deceased found himself in the firing line when he disturbed the accused while he was attacking his mother.
“The accused killed the deceased when he stabbed him with the broken bottle. According to the post-mortem report the deceased died from a wound to his abdomen.”
Kgwate asked the court to convict Dikole on both the murder and attempted rape charges.
“There was an attempt to undress the mother . . . what other reason would there be for that action? The State will consider that the accused formed the intention to rape the mother after she lost her balance when he tripped her and fell during their struggle,” said Kgatwe.
Dikole’s attorney, Pierre Fourie, submitted that, although there were some contradictions in the testimonies, the witnesses were not weak witnesses.
Fourie said the fact that Dikole elected to remain silent during the trial was a challenge for the defence.
“It is only the State’s version the court has to consider as the accused elected to remain silent and not provide any testimony. I cannot make an argument that the accused was not the one spotted at the scene of the crime,” said Fourie.
However, he argued that the incident was not planned by the accused.
“There is no evidence that the murder was planned or premeditated. There is evidence that the attack was directed at the mother and not at the deceased.
“The location of the wound that caused the death of the child was to the right hand side of the abdomen. The accused had an opportunity to to stab the deceased in the head, neck and chest.
“I ask the court to convict the accused on dolus eventualis and not dolus directus. The accused saw the possibility of death, but nonetheless continued,” said Fourie.
Kgatwe responded by saying that the boy was stabbed in his vital organs and that his intestines were exposed.
“The fact that the accused did not stab the boy in his upper body does not mean he did not have intent on dolus directus. Due to the fact that the organs were exposed, the accused should be found guilty on dolus directus. The deceased did not die from loss of blood, but due to the wound to the abdomen . . . which was inflicted by the accused,” Kgatwe said.
The matter was postponed for judgment and Dikole remains in custody.