Cape Town - Yet another criminal is set to spend more than 30 years behind bars after being handed down a hefty sentence by the high court.
Lesotho national Seabatha Clement Kholoane, a known serial housebreaker and killer, was handed 37 years of direct imprisonment by the court for a string of robberies he perpetrated at an exclusive golf estate in Mossel Bay where he used to work.
The 41-year-old man was convicted of murder, five counts of housebreaking with intent to steal and theft, and housebreaking with intent to steal, attempted robbery with aggravating circumstances and being in the country illegally.
According to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Kholoane was sentenced to a combined 54-year direct imprisonment on all eight charges, but the court ordered some of the sentences to run concurrently.
NPA spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said the State alleged that between May 20, 2022, and September 16, 2022, Kholoane entered the country on a visitor’s visa but stayed after it expired.
Ntabazalila said Kholoane worked for I Property (Pty) Ltd, a company that rents, sells and manages properties within Pinnacle Point Golf Estate, Mossel Bay.
He said: “Kholoane confessed that on May 21, 2022, he entered Pinnacle Point Security Estate with his security card and proceeded to 147 Sunset Drive, where he stole a laptop, alcohol, and clothing items.
“He placed the stolen items in a vehicle he found on the property, used a back entrance to the golf estate to get out and sold the items to members of the public in Kwanonqaba, Mossel Bay. He was arrested on May 24, 2022, and pointed out where he sold the stolen items, which were retrieved by police."
His case was initially struck from the court roll due to outstanding issues. However, on June 3, 2022, he struck again, Ntabazalila said, revealing that Kholoane stealthily entered the property of an elderly couple he had worked for before the incident but was caught and confronted by the wife, who he says shouted at him in Afrikaans.
Ntabazalila said Kholoane grabbed a knife the victim had picked up to ward him off and proceeded to stab her multiple times.
“He also stabbed her husband as he attempted to stop him from attacking his wife. His wife passed away because of the stab wounds. Between June 6 and 9, 2022, Kholoane broke into 147 Sunset Drive, Pinnacle Point, the property of Jacobus Hermanus Robbertze, and stole alcohol, hand towels and binoculars.
“On September 3, 2022, he broke into 71 Eastwood Drive, Pinnacle Point, where he also previously worked, and on the morning of September 16, 2022, Kholoane broke into house 7B Cullinan Street.”
“At some of the properties he broke into, particularly where he committed murder, the accused left a trail of blood, fingers and a palm print, which were lifted by police during their investigation. As the net closed, he fled to Lesotho. However, he was arrested on December 7, 2022, in Wepener, Free State, and brought to Mossel Bay to stand trial,” Ntabazalila said.
Arguing for sentence, senior State advocate Lenro Badenhorst told the court the accused broke into houses which were familiar to him and where he had inside knowledge. He further argued that it was always a serious offence to commit murder, and the offence was more serious when it was gender-based and the victim was an elderly female aged 79 years old, the NPA said.
He said: “The deceased took care of her husband, aged 85, before her death because he was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. He had to be moved to a special care institution because she was not there any more to take care of him.”
“The family was traumatised and devastated by the attack on their parents and the violent death she succumbed to, and the accused caused damages to the properties he broke into, resulting in expenses for the complainants,” Badenhorst said.
Western Cape director of public prosecutions Nicolette Bell has applauded the prosecution and investigation team for securing the conviction and the sentence.