Home News NC man pleads guilty to rape, murder

NC man pleads guilty to rape, murder

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“I also cut her panty off with the intention of sexually penetrating her. I was unable to complete the act as I was unable to get an erection at the time.”

Jacob Essel.

A BARKLY West man could be facing life imprisonment after he pleaded guilty in the Northern Cape High Court yesterday to attempted rape, rape, murder and violating a corpse.

The accused, Jacob Essel, in his statement admitted that on February 27 2018 he attempted to have intercourse with an elderly family member.

“On the day of the incident, I was drinking alcohol with a friend, Phumelo. I went home in the early hours of the morning. When I arrived home, I knocked on the door of my family member and when she opened the door I entered the house and then grabbed her and pinned her to the bed because I wanted to have intercourse with her.”

Essel said that when he dragged the family member to the bedroom, he had a knife in his hand which he pressed against her shoulder while pinning her to the bed. This ultimately caused an injury to her shoulder.

“I also cut her panty off with the intention of sexually penetrating her. I was unable to complete the act as I was unable to get an erection at the time.”

He added that the family member was crying and told him she was thirsty.

Essel said he then went to his bedroom to sleep.

“When I woke up the following day, I went to her bedroom to apologise for my actions, but she wasn’t in the house.”

He said he left the house and went in search of his friend, Phumelo. When he couldn’t find Phumelo he went back to the place where they had been drinking the night before.

“I found Phumelo and his grandfather Jack there. I then told Phumelo that I had attempted to rape my family member and that the police were probably looking for me. He then informed me that we should just carry on drinking and if the police came, they could arrest me.”

Essel said they carried on drinking until the afternoon. “We then decided to go to the house of Gotlamang Lizzah Moathlodi to buy some home-brewed beer from her.”

When they arrived at the house, according to Essel, Phumelo asked Moathlodi if they could buy some beer. “She said she did not have any beer left.”

Essel said Phumelo suggested they leave. “I then took a knife out and said we should rape her instead. Phumelo then ran away without saying a word.”

He stated that he then went into the house and pinned Moathlodi against the sofa by grabbing her around the neck. “I used the knife to cut her pants and then had intercourse with her.”

Essel said Moathlodi was screaming all the time while he was raping her. “I used the knife to stab her in the forehead. She just carried on screaming and I continued to stab her in the forehead, in the face and the upper body.”

He said that he then pulled his victim from the sofa onto the floor and strangled her until she stopped breathing.

“I got off of the deceased and stabbed her to make sure she was dead. I cut her several times in the region of her vagina and hip. I cut her abdomen open and pulled her intestines out from her abdomen.”

Essel stated that he had violated the corpse because he was of the opinion that the police would then not be able to link him to any DNA.

“I was arrested on the same day. When I was arrested, I admitted to killing Moathlodi. I also co-operated with the police and pointed out where I had hidden the bloodied clothing. I, unfortunately, could not find the exact place where I put the clothing.”

Essel said he planned to plead guilty to all the offences he committed.

“All the time I knew what I was doing was wrong. I was under the influence of alcohol when I committed all the offences, however, the alcohol did not impair my faculties to such an extent that I did not know what I was doing. I always intended to plead guilty.”

Essel’s legal representative, Heinrich Steynberg, said that his client was fully aware that if he was convicted on the rape and murder charges the court could impose life imprisonment. “Unless I can show that there are substantial and compelling circumstances to deviate therefrom,” Steynberg said.

Essel will be sentenced today.