“Sekonyane surprisingly asked: ‘Are you really stabbing me?’. Peters then kicked him and he fell to the ground, while Peters continued to stab him
A 27-YEAR-old Kimberley man, Fikile Moses Peters, was yesterday sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment after killing his friend following an argument over R5.
Thabang Sekonyane, a 25-year-old man with dwarfism, was stabbed to death by Peters with a knife on April 13, 2019 in Kimberley.
Peters was yesterday found guilty in the Galashewe Magistrate’s Court of the murder and sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment.
According to witnesses who testified for the State, Peters had asked Sekonyane for R5 on the night of the incident, but Sekonyane had replied that while he did have R5, he would be using the money himself.
Hereafter an argument ensued between the two friends and Peters stabbed Sekonyane in the neck with a knife.
“Sekonyane surprisingly asked: ‘Are you really stabbing me?’. Peters then kicked him and he fell to the ground, while Peters continued to stab him. Peters kicked him again and pulled him around the corner of a shanty,” one eyewitness testified.
Sekonyane was later declared dead on the scene by ambulance personnel.
Peters was taken to the police station and placed under arrest. He has been in custody since.
Peters pleaded not guilty and denied stabbing Sekonyane, or even going to the shack where the incident happened.
He testified that he was alone at home at the time that Sekonyane was killed and did not know why he was being implicated.
The State prosecutor, Belinda Thomas, noted that two witnesses had both claimed to have seen Peters stab the victim and that they knew him very well.
Thomas argued that Peters was not a reliable witness and that the witnesses had no reason to make up the version of events that they presented in court.
Peters’ legal representative, Chantell Mphela, urged the court to find her client not guilty, arguing that the State had not proved Peters’ guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
Magistarte Andre Williams found yesterday that the State witnesses in the matter were credible and that their version of events had proven the State’s case beyond reasonable doubt; and rejected Peters’ version, before convicting him of murder.
Thomas, before sentencing, handed in a statement by Sekonyane’s mother, Bushy Sekonyane, in which she “blamed” herself for her child’s murder.
“My son was a dwarf – a small person. I blame myself for not protecting him. I still feel every stab and kick he endured before his death. I should not have allowed him to leave the house that night, and I don’t know why I did,” the statement read.
Thomas also noted that Peters had a previous murder conviction and asked the court not to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment and to also take into account the effect that the murder had on Sekonyane’s family.
Mphela told the court that her client was aware that he was facing a minimum sentence of 20 years but asked the court to deviate from that sentence.
Williams, while handing down the sentence, asked why Peters would kill his friend for a mere R5.
“A man lost his life for R5. If the police had checked the body and saw the R5 was missing, Peters could have been charged with robbery aggravated as well, which could have meant an extra 15 years’ imprisonment. Through your (Peters’) actions, the lives of an entire family was changed,” Williams said.
Williams added that he found no reason to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence and sentenced Peters to 20 years’ imprisonment.
Sekonyane’s mother could be seen at court with a large tattoo on her arm, depicting a baby and mother’s hands, with the name “Thabang” and the phrase “I will forever hold you”.
She noted that Sekonyane had celebrated his 25th birthday on April 7, 2019, less than a week before his murder.