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Man gets life for ‘gruesome’ murder


“The injuries as depicted in the photographs and as explained by the doctor are ghastly”

A 26-YEAR-old Northern Cape man, Thataone Boitumelo Tumaeletse, has been sentenced to life imprisonment by the Northern Cape High Court for what has been described as “one of the most gruesome murders involving a school-going 19-year-old teenager”.

The incident happened in November 2018 at Gamopedi Village. The victim was a pupil at KP Toto High School and was on her way to school in the morning when she was attacked.

Northern Cape High Court Judge Mpho Mamosebo found that there was planning and premeditation that preceded the act of killing.

Tumaeletse, a first offender, was 25 years old when he committed the offence. He dropped out of school in Grade 11 due to his family’s financial hardship. He is unemployed and has no children. He was raised by his paternal grandmother, who described him as a good, helpful, flexible and quiet child who disliked getting involved in fights or violence.

He has been in custody since November 6, 2018 awaiting trial.

According to Dr Gideon Anizoba the cause of death was multiple stab wounds to the body with a sharp instrument with lethal consequences.

“The injuries as depicted in the photographs and as explained by the doctor are ghastly,” Mamosebo pointed out during sentencing.

“The force applied in respect of the stab wound to the scalp ruptured the blood vessels and led to the bleeding on the temporal part of the brain.

“The doctor opined that had the deceased survived these injuries, she would have been left with some neurological deficit like deficiencies in her speech or the functionality to the right side of the body impaired.” There were also numerous other stab wounds, including two stab wounds in both lungs. Her rib was broken in the process of the stabbing.

The knife used, Mamosebo pointed out, was more like a handmade or self-made knife.

“The accused claimed that he was angry with the deceased and apportioned blame to her for the loss of their child. He also claimed that the deceased failed to inform him of her whereabouts over the weekend. This cannot justify such merciless killing.

“What further aggravates the situation is the fact that the accused had breached the protection order that the deceased had obtained against him. The deceased was wearing her school uniform and walking to school in the morning when her life was mercilessly cut short.”

Mamosebo added that the accused had shown no respect for the deceased’s life. “After inflicting indiscriminately the multiple stab wounds on her person, he left her sprawled on the tarred road, slaughtered like an animal.”

Mamosebo stated that she could not deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence for flimsy reasons. “The personal circumstances of the accused must indeed recede into the background. I find no substantial and compelling circumstances to ameliorate the moral turpitude of the accused’s vile conduct. In the result the accused is sentenced to life imprisonment.”

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