Hein de Kock was found guilty of murdering the victim and is already serving time
THE MAN convicted of fatally stabbing Geoffrey Japtha in 2013 is expected to testify in the murder trial of his two co-accused in the Northern Cape High Court this morning, after new evidence came to light.
Steven Metsimetsi, 23, and Lebogang Moabi, 26, were back in front of Judge Bulelwa Pakati yesterday morning on charges of murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances, in connection with the death of Japhta four years ago.
In 2015 Hein de Kock, who is scheduled to testify this morning, was found guilty of murdering Japtha and handed a 15-year sentence, while his co-accused were released.
However, the case was reopened earlier this year after a new witness came forward, resulting in a warrant of arrest being issued for Metsimetsi and Moabi.
Meanwhile, in an unrelated incident, Metsimetsi has pleaded guilty to fatally stabbing 25-year-old Albert Macoby following a disagreement at a tavern on New Year’s Eve this year.
He was handed a 15-year sentence for this murder earlier this month and abandoned his bail application for the 2013 murder.
Moabi was released on R500 bail after testifying in his own bail application, where he discussed the merits of the case.
The case was then transferred to the Northern Cape High Court, where the State yesterday requested a final postponement in order to requisition De Kock, who is serving his sentence in the Magareng prison, to testify this morning.
During his bail application six weeks ago Moabi admitted that he had witnessed Japhta’s stabbing, but expressed his intention to plead not guilty on both the charges against him, namely murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances.
The West End father of four confirmed that he had previously been convicted of possessing an illegal firearm in 2006, for which he received a five-year suspended sentence after the presiding officer apparently showed leniency due to his age at the time.
With regard to the initial murder trial, which resulted in a conviction and 15-year prison sentence for De Kock, Moabi testified that he had been in police custody, on an unrelated charge of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm (GBH), when the allegations of killing Japhta were made against him.
Despite being warned that his testimony during the bail application could be used against him during trial, Moabi opted to discuss the merits of the case, testifying that De Kock had been solely responsible for the 2013 murder of Japhta.
Last month, Metsimetsi was sentenced to 15 years in jail after he was found guilty of murdering Macoby in the early hours of January 1 2017.
The 23-year-old accepted full responsibility for his actions in a bid to have the court show leniency.
He told the court that he had seen in the New Year with a few beers and a game of dice at a local tavern, before leaving to go home shortly after midnight.
He said that on his way home he came across Macoby and his friend.
He then pulled out a knife and repeatedly stabbed Macoby, who he claimed had assaulted him on a previous occasion.