Life sentence for rape, murder of gran

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INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

Pretoria - A KwaMhlanga man was jailed for life on Wednesday for raping and strangling his 92-year-old grandmother.

The High Court in Pretoria imposed two life sentences on Sipho Oupa Kubeka, 38, for attacking his grandmother Konzaphi Elizabeth Kubeka at her home near Buhlebuzile, in KwaMhlanga, in September last year.

Kubeka wiped away tears and tried to hide his face while being sentenced, but said he “did not have a problem” with it.

He pleaded guilty to the murder and rape, and begged his family's forgiveness, but told the court he did not know why he did it.

Kubeka was with his aunt Anna Sibiya when she found the woman dead in her bedroom, but he pretended to be surprised at the discovery.

Judge Selby Baqwa said Kubeka appeared to be less than credible when he testified in mitigation.

Kubeka claimed he supported two children, but could not remember their ages, and contradicted himself about the amounts he paid.

His aunt testified he had not shown remorse when they found the body. It was only when his trial started a year later that he expressed remorse.

Baqwa said Kubeka's aunt had painted a negative picture of him.

It appeared the elderly Mrs Kubeka had a premonition that she would die at the hands of her grandson.

“There are two most aggravating factors regarding the actions of the accused that fateful night,” Baqwa said.

“The first one is that the victim was a defenceless 92-year-old woman who was sleeping peacefully in her own bed. She was raped and killed in the sanctity of her own home, a place where she was entitled to be safe and secure. This was clearly a vicious rape, which was confirmed by the accused,” he said.

Kubeka admitted in his statement he changed his clothes afterwards, because there were blood stains on his shirt and trousers.

Referring to numerous media reports about attacks on the elderly, Baqwa said the reports underlined the need to protect the most vulnerable members of society.

“The most prized possessions of any human being are human life and human dignity,” the judge said.

“These ought to be treated as sacrosanct, in line with our Constitution.” - Sapa


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