Horror end for teen lured by 'blesser'
Pretoria – All Centurion teenager Keleabetse Seleka wanted were Peruvian hair, gadgets, free data and an exotic holiday – known as baecations – from her new “blesser”.
However, the 15-year-old was killed in December, allegedly by a man she met on Facebook who was supposed to be her ticket to greatness.
Keleabetse’s body was found in a pit toilet at Mshongoville informal settlement in Atteridgeville a month after her disappearance in November.
These details came to light during the court appearance on Tuesday of four men in connection with her death.
Investigations led police to the her body and the subsequent arrest of John Lekubu and three alleged accomplices on December 28.
Lebuku and alleged accomplices Leshilo Mashau, Tebogo Mabolane and Eugene Machete, appeared in the Atteridgeville Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday for a formal bail application in connection with the tragedy. They are set to continue with their bail bid next Wednesday.
Metal sheets, wood and other debris were all that was left of the pit toilet where the girl’s body was dumped by her abductors when the Pretoria News went to the scene on Wednesday.
Neighbours said they had to deal with an unbearable smell for weeks before the gruesome discovery was made.
Diana Moloto said the stench from the toilet that was close to the road was so unbearable it had made her too nauseous to even attempt to check the source. “It got to a point where I even got sick to my stomach. We even thought that someone had dumped a dead dog in that toilet. The smell of a dead person is not like that of a dead animal or anything else that I have ever come across. We are not safe at all if we can live with a decomposing body,” she said.
Daisy Matinketsa said she had lived in fear since discovering that people she came across regularly could do something so horrendous.
Keleabetse Seleka was reported missing in November. Picture: Supplied
“We did not talk to the man who has been arrested, but he was someone we saw occasionally walking around the neighbourhood. To think he did this to someone so young is heartbreaking.
“It’s really sad that a little girl left her safe home in Centurion to be dragged all the way to a cramped squatter camp here. We can only hope this will deter other young girls and women looking for older rich men to bless them with gifts,” said Matinketsa.
Elizabeth Aphiri said they had not seen or heard anything in the weeks leading up to the finding, but started noticing an awful smell.
“Older men are not good for girls. That is precisely why children need to stop hanging out with these people for money and rather stick to their own age. These people will take advantage of the fact that they can manipulate someone younger.
“I can’t imagine how her family is feeling knowing that their little girl was killed for a stupid cellphone that anyone can replace,” she said.
The teenager had last been seen on November 28, when her friends said she had gone to meet the “blesser”, who had posted messages on social media platforms stating that he wanted a curvy and chubby woman to “bless”.
Posters circulated by the Pink Ladies Missing Persons Organisation indicated Keleabetse was last seen on her way to Atteridgeville.
Although details of how Keleabetse was lured to the squatter camp are uncertain, it has been reported that while there she was fed a local bunny chow, known as spathlo, laced with poison.
But she did not die soon enough; so the men allegedly strangled her to death, and kept her cellphone and other valuables she had on her.
Blessers fact box
"Blessers" refer to the rising trend of sugar daddies, where woman are given gifts and money in exchange for sex.
The blesser phenomenon has drawn considerable criticism from numerous political, religious and organisational leaders.
Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi launched a three-year anti-blesser campaign in June to keep girls in schools and wean them off sugar daddies in order to help reduce the incidence of teenage pregnancies.
He budgeted R3 billion for the campaign and said this was made possible by funding from foreign donor organisations and government departments.
Acting national police commissioner Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane also urged members of the South African Police Service not to stray into the realm of blessers and Ben 10s (young men who date older women).
Pastor Ray McCauley from Rhema Family Churches and co-chairman of the National Religious Leaders Council, also condemned the phenomenon.
“I would like to urge all of us to condemn this blesser-blessee phenomenon and sensitise especially our girls and young women about the dangers of this fad, and how it seeks to objectify their bodies and reduce their dignity. Lack (of finances) is no excuse to succumb to this trend,” he said.