Tshegofatso Motshwane and Innocentia Motshwane with their mother Tinny smile on the stairs of the Palace of Justice after the man accused of killing their sister Baleseng Motshwane was convicted. Picture: Masi Losi
Baleseng Motshwane had a good life. She worked hard at her job, had her own apartment in Brakpan and was in love with a man whose baby she was expecting. Baleseng, or Bali, as her friends and family called her, enjoyed a close bond with her mother Tinny, who was looking forward to the birth of her grandchild. There was no reason to suspect that anything would derail Baleseng's future.

Baleseng's life was brutally ended by a man who she loved and trusted. She was stabbed in the chest and left to bleed to death inside her locked apartment by the man whose baby she would have given birth to in just a few weeks. Baleseng was 32 years old.

During the ensuing trial, a colleague, Potlako Moorosi, testified that when Baleseng did not arrive for work, a secretary phoned her home, but there was no answer. They became worried the next day after her family phoned to ask whether anyone had seen her.

On February 5, 2013, he went to her home and knocked, but there was no answer. “I looked through the keyhole and saw the key hanging inside. I smelt something like rotten meat.”  He discovered her body on her bed. Baleseng had already been dead for three days. Her frantic family arrived as police and crime scene technicians were processing the scene.

Johannes Tshepo Nkomo was convicted of killing Baleseng and looting her bank account after her murder. He claimed that she had borrowed money from him previously and had given him her card in the hours before her death with the instruction to draw as much money as we wanted. The judge was not convinced by his arguments and jailed Nkomo for life.

While some justice has been done for Baleseng's murder, her family has been left with a gaping wound. Their beloved daughter and sister has been taken from them by a man whose greed was greater than his love for his unborn child.

Baleseng never got to hold the baby she was so excited about. She will never celebrate another Women's Month, birthday or Christmas with her family. Baleseng will never have a chance to fulfil her dreams.

For Baleseng's sake and the sake of women everywhere, if you know somebody who has committed an act of violence against a woman  Don't Look Away
If you know a young woman's life is in danger,  Don't Look Away
If you are able to help prevent another tragedy,  Don't Look Away.

* Receive IOL's top stories via Whatsapp by sending your name to 0745573535.