Pretoria - The community of Olievenhoutbosch was so angry with a man who allegedly stabbed the mother of his child to death with a large “Rambo” knife, that they were “a match away from setting him alight.”
This was the evidence of a teenager, who was instrumental in catching 29-year-old Tshepo Elliot Mafeiha.
The 17-year-old, who cannot be identified as he is underage, testified on Thursday in the Gauteng High Court, in Pretoria, on the events of August 29, 2016, when Caroline Legodi was stabbed to death, minutes after she dropped her and Mafeiha’s child at the creche.
Mafeiha pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder and said he was not the killer. He suggested that it was "some other man" whom he said he saw speaking to the deceased.
The teenager told the court that he was so traumatised by what he had witnessed that morning that he still had nightmares and required counselling.
The State vowed to get him the necessary help he required.
Mafheiha was, for more than an hour after the alleged stabbing, assaulted by the community.
By the time the police arrived he could not wait to jump into the back of the van out of harm’s way.
The teenager testified that while the community was assaulting him, they also poured paraffin over him.
“Only the match was missing to set him alight,” he said.
The women of Olievenhoutbosch were so upset with Mafeiha for allegedly killing another women, that they insisted that he pick up the hunting knife which allegedly belonged to him and was used to stab the victim to death, and stab himself.
Only the arrival of the police and an officer who stepped on the knife, prevented the fearful Mafeiha from picking up the weapon.
The teenager testified that he was on his way to school around 6am that morning, when he saw Legodi ahead of him dropping her child off at nursery school.
He also noticed a man, whom he later identified as the accused, behind him.
Legoi, after dropping the child, headed for the taxi rank, where she got into a queue. The witness said Mafeiha walked up to her and, in an aggressive manner, demanded money from her.
“She told him to leave her alone and get a job, as she was on her way to work. The next moment he took a knife from his waist and stabbed her in the chest, between three and five times. She called for help and he started to run away.”
The teenager went after Mafeiha, while other community members also gave chase. He managed to trip the accused, who fell to the ground with the knife falling next to him.
By this time there were about 50 angry community members on the scene and they pelted him with stones and hit him with whatever they could find. They shouted “that man is mad. He had stabbed a woman.”
The witness said they were so livid when the police rescued Mafeiha, that they even pelted the van with stones.
Asked whether he could identify the alleged killer, the teenager nudged his head in the direction of the dock and said that is the man. But he refused to point him out with his finger as requested by the prosecution.
“No, I am too scared. I am afraid of him,” the youngster said while trying to shy away in the witness stand, while Mafeiha looked straight at the witness.
Confronted with Mafeiha’s defence that he was not the stabber, the teenager said: “No, it is him. I saw him.”
The matter is proceeding.