Two women, who pretended to be sex workers and lured a 38-year-old man to his death four years ago, have been sentenced in the Pretoria High Court.
Lebogang Tshabalala, 29, and 22-year-old Everjoy Sibanda were sentenced alongside their co-accused; Lucky Vincent Motholo, Kagiso Alfread Leleme Mathlabe; and Kamogelo Modise.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said the women were standing near a petrol station in Bokfontein, pretending to be prostitutes soliciting potential clients, while the three men hid in the bushes nearby.
“On October 27, 2020, the victim was dropped off near the petrol station and he approached the two women. He asked them what they were doing and they told him that they were prostitutes,” NPA spokesperson, Lumka Mahanjana, said.
The victim withdrew R900 and bought a few groceries and he returned to where the women were standing.
Mahanjana said the victim accompanied the women to the nearby bushes where the other three co-accused were hiding.
“They tied his hands, assaulted him, and requested his PIN code. The two women then went back to the garage to withdraw money, but the attempts failed because the deceased gave them the wrong pin,” Mahanjana said.
The next day, the victim's mother reported him missing after he failed to return home and she could not get hold of him.
Mahanjana said the man's body was found in the bushes.
“The security guards at the Sasol garage alerted the police of the Avanza car they saw on the night of the incident, [and] after investigations, four [people] were arrested on December 19, 2020, however, Modise was arrested in February 2022,” Mahanjana said.
She said in court, only Motholo pleaded not guilty while the two women pleaded with the court as they were pregnant.
However, Prosecutor Advocate Salome Scheepers told the court that the Correctional Services Act does have provisions for pregnant women and has facilities to cater for such.
Mahanjana said Scheepers asked the court not to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence. When handing down the sentence the judge said murder was a serious offence, and no amount of sentence would bring back the life of the deceased.
Therefore, she found no substantial and compelling circumstances to deviate from imprisonment.
Mahanjana said the accused were sentenced to 15 years of direct imprisonment each, for robbery with aggravating circumstances, the four were also sentenced to three years each for kidnapping.
“Over and above that, Mathlabe and Modise were sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for the murder of the 38-year-old man. However, Sibanda was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, of which five years were suspended for robbery with aggravating circumstances and three years wholly suspended for kidnapping,” Mahanjana said.
The judge ordered that the sentences should run concurrently, and they be declared unfit to possess a firearm.