Pretoria - Wiping tears from his eyes with a cloth, granny-killer and rapist Sipho Kubeka on Wednesday said he was “not stressed at all” by the prospect of serving two life sentences in jail.
Kubeka, 38, pulled his woollen cap over his eyes in the dock to avoid pictures of him being taken by the media. He waved his family in the public gallery “goodbye” before walking down the Pretoria High Court stairs to start serving his sentence.
Seconds after hearing his fate, he told the interpreter he did not have a problem with his sentence.
His sister, Zama Motha, told him “See you in 20 years’ time”.
Kubeka stood with his hand on his hip in the dock when Judge Selby Baqwa told him that the court had no choice but to sentence him to a life sentence for the rape and another life term for the murder of Konzaphi Elizabeth Kubeka.
The 92-year-old, who at times helped to raise him, was so violently raped by her own grandson that he had blood on his clothes and had to change. A post-mortem report said her private parts also had blood on them.
It is not clear whether Kubeka first strangled her before he raped her or whether he raped her while she was dying.
He told the court in his explanation of plea that he found her sleeping in the bedroom of the Kwa-Mhlanga home he shared with her.
He said he strangled the sleeping woman and raped her before he pulled a blanket over her.
Kubeka was repeatedly asked in court this week why he did this.
The judge said he wanted to understand what went on in his mind. But Kubeka repeatedly said he had no idea why he did this.
In sentencing him, Judge Baqwa told Kubeka the fact that he had raped and killed his own flesh and blood, and that she was a defenceless old woman, was reprehensible.
The court heard that the old woman, with her meagre state pension, provided for Kubeka, who did casual work from time to time.
The granny’s daughter and aunt to Kubeka, Annah Sibiya, this week testified that the old woman had told her if she was ever found dead, it would be the work of her grandson.
Sibiya said Kubeka had also vowed to kill his granny.
Things were so bad between the two that Sibiya called in the help of her older siblings. But the old woman was killed before they could mediate in the situation.
Kubeka, however, maintained that there were never any problems between them.
Sibiya, with Kubeka at her side, was the first to discover the body on September 4 last year. She testified that Kubeka never showed any remorse, let alone that he knew what happened, when they found the body.
“He had a blank face and pretended to be equally surprised,” Judge Baqwa said. Sibiya also did not accept Kubeka’s apology this week after he had pleaded guilty to the murder and rape.
The judge said the aggravating factors overshadowed any possible mitigating ones, because it was a vicious attack on a 92-year-old in her home where she was supposed to feel safe, and because she was attacked by her own flesh and blood. It was also a vicious rape. The elderly, as the most vulnerable in society, should be protected.
Motha, after sentencing, said she wasn’t happy that her brother had to go to jail for life, but felt he deserved this sentence. “My granny was a good woman and she loved him, as she loved all her grandchildren.”