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Life for hero boy’s killer

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Tefelo Dikole was yesterday sentenced in the Northern Cape High Court to life imprisonment for Kutlwano’s murder and seven years for the attempted rape of the young boy’s mother.

JUSTICE: The man who brutally killed six-year-old hero boy Kutlwano Garesape, who was trying to save his mother from being raped, has been sentenced to life imprisonment. Tefelo Dikole was yesterday sentenced in the Northern Cape High Court to life imprisonment for Kutlwanos murder and seven years for the attempted rape of the young boys mother. Kutlwano was brutally stabbed to death by Dikole while trying to defend his mother, Evelyn Garesape. She is seen here with State advocate Kenny Kgatwe. Picture: Soraya Crowie

THE MAN who brutally killed six-year-old “hero boy” Kutlwano Garesape, who was trying to save his mother from being raped, has been sentenced to life imprisonment.

Tefelo Dikole was yesterday sentenced in the Northern Cape High Court to life imprisonment for Kutlwano’s murder and seven years for the attempted rape of the young boy’s mother.

Kutlwano was brutally stabbed to death by Dikole while trying to defend his mother. The incident occurred on the morning of August 12, 2016 while Kutlwano, his mother and his older brother were walking to school after they had missed the bus.

Acting Judge Livhuwani Vuma yesterday described the ordeal that Evelyn Garesape and her two young sons, aged six and eight at the time, had gone through as unimaginable and absolutely painful.

“The mother of the deceased told the court that she lives with self-blame and that her son might have been alive if she had not fought off the accused at the time. It must have been degrading for the mother to fight for the most sanctified part of her body in full sight of her two young sons.

“The evidence stated that the ordeal lasted for about 30 minutes. The fact that a mother has to fight off her attacker for such a long period is unimaginable. No one should be subjected to such a period to fight being raped.”

Vuma said the long-term effects that the incident has had on Kutlwano’s family, especially on his brother, was heartbreaking.

“The mother of the deceased said her life and that of her family took a turn for the worse since the death of the deceased. Her other son misses the deceased terribly as they were very close friends.

“She said her son has since become aggressive and they were called twice to the school he attend about his turbulent and aggressive behaviour. She said her son keeps to himself but loses his temper for no reason. The brother would wake up at night and tell them that his deceased brother came to play with him. To calm him, the parents would take him to the graveside of the deceased.

“The entire family is utterly devastated by this incident. The mother is also resentful of the accused and told the court she never wants to see him again.”

Vuma pointed out that it was clear that the incident had a terrible effect on the brother.

“From the evidence of the mother, it was the older brother of the deceased who stood and watched the ordeal. He did not do anything. No person, let alone a brother, should have to witness such a heinous act. However, interestingly, it is now the same child who now goes about assaulting other children. That is quite a terrible effect the death of the deceased had on the brother.”

Vuma instructed the State to assist the family in getting further counselling.

“The State should resume further counselling for the family. The mother of the deceased could not even put into words how the incident has impacted their lives and through her tears only said their lives will never be the same.”

She said that the gruesome manner in which Kutlwano was killed meant that the court could not deviate from imposing the maximum sentence. “The post-mortem stated that the deceased suffered several wounds. The cause of death was stated as a stab wound to the abdomen. The post-mortem also stated that the accused’s organs were pale and that he suffered injuries to his kidneys and diaphragm.

“The defence did not call any witnesses nor did the accused take the stand to testify or hand in a plea statement.

“The court has to consider all elements, which include the interest of the community, the seriousness of the crime and the personal circumstances of the accused. The interest of the deceased should be added to these elements.

“The defence argued that the accused was a first-time offender and can be rehabilitated. The defence also said the accused suffers from a substance-induced psychological disorder. The accused did not take the court into his confidence to testify whether he was under the influence of any substance on the day of the incident.

“Looking at the evidence holistically, there are no compelling circumstances to deviate from the murder charge when considering the pain and suffering endured by the six-year-old. The argument that the accused can be rehabilitated cannot even tip the scale and is not justifiable under these circumstances,” Vuma concluded.