File Picture: Phill Magakoe
File Picture: Phill Magakoe

Man gets life imprisonment for killing girlfriend, setting her alight

By Molaole Montsho Time of article published Oct 11, 2021

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RUSTENBURG – A 21-year-old man accused of killing his girlfriend after raping her and setting her body alight was sentenced to a life imprisonment.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in North West said Karabo Bahurutshe 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," spokesperson Henry Mamothame said.

The State charged that Bahurutshe was at a tavern in Ramosadi in Mahikeng on December 1, 2019, when the deceased, Gomolemo Legae, arrived in the company of friends.

She later left the tavern with Bahurutshe

"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. He then fled the scene but handed himself over to the police at a later stage after hearing from a relative that police were searching for him," Mamothame said.

Bahurutshe was arrested after his brother handed him over to the police. He was caught on CCTV buying petrol at a petrol station.

Legae had managed to inform the members of the community it was Bahurutshe who had attacked her. She suffered third-degree burns.

Bahurutshe had claimed that Legae threatened to have him arrested for raping her and he subsequently panicked and decided to kill her as he did not want to go to jail.

"He told the court that Legae was his girlfriend and on the night of the incident she insisted on going with him to his home to have sexual intercourse but he refused. He then suggested that they have sex on the side of the road and the deceased refused. He nonetheless continued to rape and murder her."

The prosecution argued that the court should consider the gruesome and heartless manner in which Legae was murdered, and the hardship her family went through, which resulted in her father taking his life following her gruesome death.

Bahurutshe was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder and a further 10 years for rape.

"The court declared the sentences to run concurrently," he said.

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