Kimberley - A man was sentenced to 18 years' imprisonment by the Northern Cape High Court on Wednesday after he was found guilty of kidnapping and murdering a 17-year-old girl, police said.
The high court, sitting in the Kathu Circuit Court, found that James Thipe, 23, murdered Helen Kuhn on August 29, 2012, Colonel Priscilla Naidu said.
Kuhn was hitch-hiking from Dingleton to Kathu when Thipe offered her a lift.
When she realised that he was driving in the wrong direction, Kuhn phoned her mother, who alerted police and reported the details of his vehicle.
Police then found Thipe on the road during a patrol.
“At the time the accused informed police that he was hijacked by three armed men and that they had taken his car... and that the victim was in the car with the hijackers,” Naidu said.
Police found his vehicle while he was at the police station.
Kuhn's body was found near the vehicle, which had been involved in an accident, with her throat slit.
Police found the vehicle's keys and the murder weapon in Thipe's pocket and he was arrested.