A 21-year-old North West man Karabo Bahurutshe has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the December 2019 rape and murder of Gomolemo Legae. File Picture
A 21-year-old North West man Karabo Bahurutshe has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the December 2019 rape and murder of Gomolemo Legae. File Picture

Life imprisonment after father of raped and murdered North West woman commits suicide

By Jonisayi Maromo Time of article published Oct 11, 2021

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Pretoria – A 21-year-old man Karabo Bahurutshe has been sentenced to life imprisonment for murder and an additional ten years in jail for rape after he pleaded guilty to the heinous crimes.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson in the North West Henry Mamothame said the High Court sentenced Bahurutshe on Friday and declared the sentences to run concurrently.

“On Thursday, 7 October 2021, Bahurutshe’s attorney read his plea statement to which he pleaded guilty on a charge of rape and one of murder. He pleaded not guilty to a charge of attempted murder as well as one of defeating the ends of justice,” said Mamothame.

“The state and the court accepted the plea, and to that effect, Judge Frances Snyman found Bahurutshe guilty of murder and rape. He was then sentenced to life imprisonment and 10 years on Friday, 8 October 2021.”

Mamothame said before the court handed down judgment, Bahurutshe, through his attorney, had complained that he was not well, and the court instructed that he gets medical attention.

“He later appeared in court after he was declared fit to attend trial by a doctor from Mafikeng provincial hospital,” said Mamothame.

In December 2019, Bahurutshe was at a local tavern in Ramosadi village in Mahikeng when the deceased, Gomolemo Legae, arrived in the company of friends. At a later stage, they left the tavern together.

“Evidence led in court revealed that along the way, Bahurutshe raped Legae, and thereafter, stabbed her multiple times. He then left her there to purchase petrol at a nearby petrol station, which he poured on her before setting her alight,” said Mamothame.

Bahurutshe then fled the scene but later handed himself over to police after hearing from a relative that officers were searching for him.

“In his defence, he alleges that Legae threatened to have him arrested for raping her, and he subsequently panicked and decided to kill her as he didn’t want to go to jail. He told the court that Legae was his girlfriend, and on the night of the incident, she insisted on leaving with him to his home to have sexual intercourse, but he refused,” said Mamothame.

“He (Bahurutshe) then suggested that they have sex on the side of the road and the deceased (Legae) refused. He nonetheless continued to rape and murdered her.”

In aggravation of sentence, advocate Kalakgosi argued that the court should consider the gruesome and heartless manner in which Legae was murdered.

He alluded to the misery Legae’s family went through, which resulted in her father taking his life following her daughter’s gruesome murder.

Kalakgosi further alluded to the period at which this incident took place during the annual 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.

In handing down the hefty sentence, Judge Snyman indicated that Bahurutshe showed no remorse for his actions. She emphasised the need for the country to move forward progressively in the fight against the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide.

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