Kimberley - Family members and supporters of slain six-year-old Kutlwano Garesape said that they expect a lengthy and harsh sentence to be handed to the man found guilty of his murder.
Tefelo Dikole was on Friday found guilty in the Northern Cape High Court of the brutal murder of Kutlwano and the attempted rape of the young boy’s mother on August 12, 2016.
Kutlwano was killed while trying tried to defend his mother from Dikole who wanted to rape her.
Members of the public filled the gallery and sighed in shock as they heard how Dikole assaulted Kutlwano by twice throwing him into the air and letting him fall to the ground before stabbing him with a broken bottle in full sight of his mother.
After the guilty verdict, they shouted at Dikole and told him that he deserved two life sentences for the crime.
“Two life sentences two life sentences,” one lady shouted as she held up two fingers.
Kutlwano’s mother, Evelyn Garesape, said that she was relieved that Dikole was found guilty and she now wants the harshest sentence handed to him.
“We are happy that the case has finally come to an end. It did seem that this chapter would never end when the case first started. I am glad that the man who killed my son was found and will serve jail time for killing my baby,” Garesape said.
She added that she still feels a void in her life and misses Kutlwano every day.
“I think about Kutlwano every day there is not a day or moment that passes where I do not think of him.
“Kutlwano is my hero. It is heartbreaking that he had to pay with his life to protect me I am forever indebted to him for his brave act. He was only six years old but fought for what was right. I would have been a victim of rape if it was not my son.
“I miss him terribly but thank God for giving me a guardian angel,” she said while fighting back the tears.
Adam Feltman from the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) of South Africa said that they were also pleased that Dikole was found guilty on both the murder and attempted rape charges.
“This is a case where an innocent child and his mother were attacked. The attack resulted in a young child being brutally killed. What is even worse is that the attack happened while the mother was walking to school with her two minor children. We do not want people such as the accused in our societies. We should be able to live in our societies,” said Feltman.
He added that the MJC will continue to support Kutlwano’s family.
“We have been in contact with the family since we got news of the attack in 2016. We have assisted them with the educational needs of their younger son. We will continue to support the family in any way possible,” he said.
The ANC in the Northern Cape also welcomed the judgment.
“We have been following this matter as the ANC and commend the police as well as the courts for reacting speedily on this matter. We see the ruling as a major victory, which sets a good precedence for future offenders and especially those that prey on vulnerable children and women,” the party said.
“We applaud the Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison for the assistance that has been provided to the family in their time of need. We call on all community members to assist government’s initiatives in ensuring that we protect the most vulnerable members in our communities.”
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