After the sentencing of the man convicted of the murder of Anelisa Dulaze, her mother said she forgives him because he had shown remorse. Picture: Facebook
Cape Town – “I forgive him with all my heart.”

These were the words of murder victim Anelisa Dulaze’s mother, Vathiswa, following the sentencing of the man convicted of her daughter’s murder and kidnapping.

Dulaze was a promising second year Rhodes University drama student, who had been home for the holidays when she went missing on January 31, 2016. Her body was only found last May.

Monwabisi Mbobo, a former magician who has performed in Las Vegas, was about to travel to Italy to perform before his arrest after he pointed out to police a spot in the foundation of a house that was still under construction where the body of Dulaze was dug up.

A year later, at the Western Cape High Court on Thursday, Mbobo admitted to his crime and sought forgiveness from Dulaze’s family.

The 25-year-old father of two pleaded guilty to the charges against him in a plea agreement with the State.

He has been sentenced to five years for kidnapping and 15 years for the murder.

The sentences will run concurrently.

Dulaze’s body was found buried in the unfinished house in Makhaza, Khayelitsha, after she had gone missing following a night out with friends last January to celebrate her 21st birthday.

According to the plea, Mbobo had been drinking whisky when he met Dulaze and the two went to his place on the night of January 31.

Mbobo refused to let Dulaze go home when she wanted to leave.

“An argument broke out between them and they wrestled. The accused then pushed the deceased hard, using a bottle to hit her and she hit her head against the wall. She fell to the ground and he realised she had collapsed,” according to the plea agreement.

Mbobo left to seek help from his friend, but could not find him. He later returned to his room to find the blood dry on the floor and that Dulaze’s body was stiff.

“As the deceased was lying there lifeless, the accused continued to drink not even caring to call an ambulance.

“He walked out of his room, left her and went to the shebeen to buy a bottle of Smirnoff vodka. The accused drank 500ml of Smirnoff at the shebeen without diluting it.

“He then left the shebeen and went back to his home."

“Upon his arrival, the deceased was still in the position the accused had left her after collapsing.

“He then went to the neighbour’s backyard where they were in the process of building flats, or back rooms and he dug a hole in the floor that was not cemented yet. The accused then walked back to his room and wrapped the face of the deceased with a plastic. The accused then took the body and dumped it in the hole he dug and covered it with the sand he took from the hole, burying her,” according to the plea.

Mbobo admitted that the cause of death was a sharp force injury to the head.

Mbombo confirmed he had agreed to the sentences and was aware of the consequences of the sentences. He said he entered to the plea voluntarily without being unduly influenced.

When Judge President John Hlophe asked Mbobo whether he had anything he wanted to say, Mbobo replied: “I want to apologise to the family.”

An emotional Vathiswa told reporters: “Forgiveness is the most important thing. He has shown remorse and apologised. If I don’t forgive him, it means I am taking all his sin and putting them on me. I am happy with how this case has been handled."

“I am feeling better although I am sad. Anelisa’s siblings are better, but my son did not pass because of this.”

Cape Times