Six-year-old Kutlwano Garesape would have celebrated his birthday on Tuesday and his mom said the life sentence handed down to Tefelo Dikole was a fitting birthday present for her deceased son.
THE LIFE sentence handed down to the murderer of six-year-old Kutlwano Garesape is a “fitting birthday present” for the brave little hero.
Tefelo Dikole was yesterday sentenced in the Northern Cape High Court to life imprisonment for the murder of Kutlwano and seven years for attempting to rape the boy’s mother, Evelyn Garesape.
Garesape said yesterday that she was satisfied with the sentence handed down to Dikole.
“We are happy that the court decided to hand down these sentences. We first thought that things might go the other way and the court might show mercy to the accused. We have been walking this long road and it has been very bitter but God carried us through,” said Garesape.
She said it was also a befitting birthday present for her deceased son, whose birthday was on Tuesday.
“Kutlwano’s birthday was on June 5. He was such a resilient child and also would have wanted a harsh sentence to be handed down. We will go to his graveside over the weekend and share the wonderful news with him. We miss him terribly but we are glad justice was served,” she said tearfully.
The provincial secretary of the ANC in the Northern Cape, Deshi Ngxanga, said they were also elated by the sentence meted out to Dikole.
“We applaud the law enforcement agency for speedily ensuring that the case reached finality and that the family may finally find closure on the matter,” Ngxanga said.
“We further support the call made for provincial government to continuously provide counselling for little Kutlwano’s family.
“We are of the view that a strong message has been sent out to perpetrators who abuse women and children. The ANC calls on members of the community to work together with government in ensuring that we protect women and children. Let us adopt the spirit of being each other’s keeper. We believe that it is only through working together that we are able to ensure that our communities are safe,” said Ngxanga.
The national chairperson of Cope, Pakes Dikgetsi, also welcomed the sentence.
“He (Dikole) is clearly not remorseful and displays a cold attitude towards the pains the family went through. It is an appropriate form of punishment under the circumstances and will send a clear message to all criminals that they shall be caught, tried and sentenced to lengthy jail time.
“However, in the light of the stubborn patterns of violent crimes against innocent people and the fact that the majority of people do not feel safe in their homes and communities, there needs to be an urgent dialogue in society to review and strengthen sentences to be handed down in such violent crimes,” said Dikgetsi.
The provincial spokesperson of the National Prosecuting Authority, Phaladi Shuping, stated that according to the law a life sentence was the minimum sentence for murder unless compelling circumstances were found in a matter.
“The accused in this matter did not convince the court that there were compelling circumstance for a lesser sentence to be considered. He also did not bring any evidence before the court to explain his actions. We hope the family will find closure even though they might have some outstanding questions on why the incident occurred,” said Shuping. Community members who supported the family sang outside the court premises in celebration of the sentence.
“This is a sign to all those who go around killing innocent people that the arm of the law will catch up with them. We are happy that this killer will get to sit (in jail) for a long time for what he did,” they said.