Pretoria - A Limpopo man admitted in the High Court in Pretoria on Monday that he had strangled three women over a period of five years, because he was angry.
John Mabuti Sape, 42, of Mahwelereng in Limpopo, was found guilty on three charges of murder, two of rape and two of theft after pleading guilty to the charges.
He admitted raping and murdering Agnes Mokgabi Masemola in 2001, raping and murdering Matshidisho Rebecca Madiba in 2005, and murdering Lindiwe Gloria Masangu in March 2006.
He also admitted stealing Masemola and her husband Joseph's watches.
Sape said in a statement he had known Masemola because lived with her family for about two weeks before the crime. On the day of the murder she had asked him to fetch her husband from the shebeen where he was drinking. Sape and Joseph Masemola had a few drinks before returning home, where they continued their drinking.
Sape said he and Joseph had an argument because Joseph suspected him of having a relationship with his wife. They fought and Masemola went to sleep elsewhere.
Sape was left alone with Masemola and confronted her because she had caused the fight.
“I was aggressive and upset due to the fight with Joseph. I grabbed her, forced her on the bed and had forceful sex with her without her consent.
“I realised Joseph might return and she will inform him what had happened. I decided to kill her.
“I grabbed the scarf she wore around her head and started strangling her with it. After a while I realised she was not breathing anymore and she had died,” he said in the statement.
He was arrested in connection with Masemola's murder, but the charges were later withdrawn.
Sape said he had also known his second victim, Madiba, who used to send him on errands. When he however arrived at her house one day in 2005 she told him she had heard about the Masemola murder and wanted nothing further to do with him.
“During the argument that ensued I lost my temper,” he said.
Sape raped Madiba and strangled her.
Describing his last victim's death, Sape said Masangu was a prostitute who willingly had sex with him in a Pretoria hotel in 2006. When he wanted to smoke afterwards, he realised someone had stolen his wallet and cigarettes.
“I knew the deceased was involved and that she had only pretended to lock the door. I lost my temper as it is a regular occurrence. I took a shoelace and strangled her. I realised after a while she had passed away.”
Masemola's sister Johanna Gwangwa told the court her family had taken in Sape, a total stranger, because they felt sorry for him. She never wanted him to move in because she had a bad feeling about him, but her parents had insisted. - Sapa