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I am guilty, says killer

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A 26-year-old man was sentenced to an effective 18 years in jail after entering into a plea agreement with the State on a murder charge.

Joseph Matebesi.

A 26-YEAR-old man was sentenced to an effective 18 years in jail after entering into a plea agreement with the State on a murder charge.

Joseph Matebesi, from Hartswater, also pleaded guilty to attempted rape following an incident on July 16 last year.

He was sentenced to 15 years for murder and six years for attempted rape, of which three years will run concurrently.

Matebesi was also facing a charge of robbery but this was withdrawn by the State.

Charges against Matebesi’s co-accused Tebogo Telesi were also provisionally withdrawn.

Telesi will appear in the Hartswater Regional Court on an attempted rape charge.

Matebesi, in his plea agreement, admitted to stabbing Kesholohetse Nogaganyane to death during the early hours of July 16 after he returned from a tavern with Telesi.

“I was in the location on July 15 with Tebogo Telesi. We drank some beer at a tavern that evening. Prior to drinking the beer we also smoked some dagga and at about 1.30am on July 16, we decided to go home. On our way home we met two women,” Matebesi’s statement read.

He said that he and Telesi then split up, each taking a woman with them.

“The woman I was with, Nogaganyane, did not want to go to a tavern with me. I dragged her by the arm and she started screaming for help. A group of people approached us and I panicked.

“I pulled out a knife and stabbed her. I am not sure how many times I stabbed her and, although I realised that my actions could kill her, I continued. The deceased tried to run away but fell. I then left the scene,” he said.

Matebesi said he later met up with Telesi who was attempting to rape the woman he was with.

“I helped Telesi by grabbing the woman by her clothes. She managed to break free and escape,” he said.

The accused further explained that although he was under the influence of alcohol and dagga, he did foresee the possibility that the deceased could die as a result of his attack and admitted that his actions were wrong and unlawful.

Matebesi’s lawyer, Pierre Fourie, told the court that the complainant in the attempted rape case, the husband of the deceased and the investigating officer were informed about the plea agreement.

Fourie said that all parties involved were pleased with the sentence imposed on the accused.

He added that there were mitigating factors in the matter.

“The accused has been in custody for the past 11 months awaiting trial since his arrest in July 2017. He is remorseful of his actions. He also did not waste the time of court by going to trial and also gave a confession to the police.

“He accepts full responsibility for the incident. The complainant in the attempted rape matter did not sustain any injuries during the attack on her. The murder was also not planned,” said Fourie.

He did concede that the aggravating factors outweighed the compelling circumstances of Matebesi in order to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence.

“The aggravating factor is that the offence is serious seeing that the deceased lost her life. In this matter two vulnerable women were attacked and society is looking at the courts for protection.

“The complainant in the attempted rape matter was attacked by two men,” Fourie added.

Acting Judge Mbalo said submissions made by both parties as well as the sentence were just and fair, adding that Matebesi was automatically declared unfit to possess a firearm.