A 39-year-old Northern Cape man was sentenced to 20 years direct imprisonment for the brutal murder of an 82-year-old woman in Richmond.
THE KAROO Circuit Court seated in Colesberg recently handed down a 20-year direct imprisonment sentence to Benjamin “Bulski” Klaaste, 39, for the brutal murder of an 82-year-old woman after he broke into her house in Richmond.
The incident took place on October 15, 2022, after the woman was last seen attending a traditional ceremony.
Northern Cape police spokesperson Sergeant Timothy Sam said the woman’s body was discovered on October 17 inside her home.
The body was half naked and there were bite marks on it, as well as burn wounds.
“The autopsy also revealed an element of strangulation,” said Sam.
“The accused was arrested on November 12, 2022, after he was linked to the crime scene by fingerprints that were lifted by the police.”
The regional spokesperson of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Mojalefa Senokoatsane, said the deceased, Sophie Miles, resided in the Sabelo suburb of Richmond.
“The accused unlawfully and intentionally broke into her house and strangled her to death,” said Senokoatsane.
“The following day, on October 16, 2022, neighbours observed that one of the doors to the victim’s house was open. On October 17, members of the community decided to investigate and upon entering the house, witnesses found the almost fully naked body of the deceased on the floor in one of the rooms of the house.”
Senokoatsane added that during the trial, senior State advocate Anel Stellenberg pointed out that Klaaste had targeted an elderly person whom he knew lived alone and was not able to defend herself.
“In aggravation of sentence, Stellenberg reasoned that the accused did not show any remorse for his actions … The accused was sentenced to 20 years direct imprisonment and eight years for housebreaking. The sentences will run concurrently. The accused was also declared unfit to possess a firearm.”