Witnesses claim that the only woman among the seven accused had been the 'instigator'
A MADIBA Park woman allegedly instructed a group of angry residents to fatally beat a man, who she claimed had assaulted her daughter, before setting him alight in an apparent case of mob justice.
Seven Lesotho nationals Bokang Sehapi, Khunoan Mafeo, Teboho Ngoanahali, Retshidtswe Ngoanahali, John Thene and Taeli Rakhiba, along with Momosebetsi Rhakojane, returned to the dock as their murder trial continued in the Northern Cape High Court yesterday morning.
While Rhakojane is the only woman among the seven accused and the only one not to be facing a further charge of contravening the Immigration Act, two witnesses testified yesterday that she had instructed a group of over a dozen angry residents to beat Skhukla Mosebetsi before dousing him in petrol and setting him alight on December 31, 2016.
The incident occurred at the shack of a Madiba Park resident, Shirley van Wyk, who said during cross-examination yesterday that Rhakojane had arrived on the scene, along with her co-accused and several other members of the community, seeking to take justice into her own hands following an assault on her daughter.
While the witness conceded that she had been unable to positively identify Sephai and Mafeo at the scene of the crime, she vividly recalled the remaining accused, including Rhakojane, being at her premises on the night in question.
Her testimony was followed by that of a second witness, Ezekiel Ramakwai, who claims to have also been assaulted by the accused during the fatal beating of Mosebetsi and who testified that Rhakojane had been the main instigator during the incident.
“When they (the seven accused and other members of the community) arrived, they unscrewed the zinc of the shanty,” Ramakwai said yesterday. “Shirley pleaded for them to stop what they were doing but they refused.
“After Rhakojane had thrown the paraffin, Shirley told her to wait because there were children inside the shanty. She continued to sprinkle paraffin, saying that nobody was going to live there and they must all die.”
While Mafeo, Ngoanahali and Thene denied being anywhere near the scene at the time of the incident, Rhakojane and Rakhiba admitted that they were present at the time but had only been alerted to the commotion when they heard Mosebetsi screaming.
After witnessing the assault, Rhakojane claims that she left for the Kimberley Hospital to visit her daughter, who is believed to have been stabbed by Mosebetsi.
The trial continues in the Northern Cape High Court this morning.