Ruling awaited for triple murder

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IOL jan 21 gavel_sep 4

INLSA

Pretoria - The prosecution in a murder trial asked the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday to convict one of three men of killing a Pretoria woman and her two children.

Prosecutor Hanrie Creighton said the State had proved that Sipho Masiqa, 36, of Kwa-Mhlanga, had murdered Thifhelimbilu Mashau, her eight-month-old baby Avheani and four-year-old daughter Adivhaho in July 2010.

Creighton asked for Masiqa's conviction on charges of robbing, kidnapping and indecently assaulting Mashau.

She argued that Masiqa's fellow-accused Raymond Matshaba, 29, and Bradley Molefe, 36, should at least be convicted of possession of stolen goods.

The State alleges the accused strangled the children after breaking into Mashau's house in Theresa Park.

Mashau was allegedly forced to accompany them to Ga-Rankuwa, where she was raped, strangled and stabbed before her body was dumped in the bush.

Masiqa was linked to the crime through his DNA on a cigarette found inside the Mashau home in Theresa Park.

He also had Mashau's cellphone in his possession.

Witnesses testified that Matshaba had told them he had dismantled and burnt Mashau's car because he wanted to destroy the fingerprints.

Masiqa's version in court was that Mashau and a man called Peter had approached him for a firearm and when he could not help them asked him to help them stage a robbery.

He said he was promised R10 000 and they had told him he could keep the car they were driving and whatever he took in the house.

He testified that he had left Mashau's house after staging the robbery and knew nothing about her and the children's murders.

However, a police officer testified that Masiqa had told him the initial plan was to get a firearm “for the deceased to kill herself”, but that she had asked him to kill her when he could not get a firearm.

He told police he had waited inside Mashau's house for about half-an-hour while she was in the bedroom with the children, before she came out and said that she “was finished with the children”.

Masiqa pointed out places in Ga-Rankuwa to the police where he said he had thrown away the murder knife and the body, and where he had strangled and stabbed the woman in the chest with a knife.

Counsel for Masiqa, Katlego Matshego, argued that the State had at most proved Mashau's murder against his client.

He conceded that it was still murder, even if Mashau had begged Masiqa to kill her.

He said his client's version that Mashau had asked him to stage a robbery was corroborated by cellphone records which showed that he and Mashau had exchanged several phone calls on the morning of her death.

He argued there was no evidence to link Masiqa to the children's murders.

Judge Bert Bam reserved judgment in the trial until later this week. - Sapa


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