Mpumalanga man who killed girlfriend gets 30 years for murder, rape, robbery
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Pretoria - A man from Mpumalanga has been sentenced to an effective 30 years in jail after he was convicted of murder, rape and robbery by the Mpumalanga High Court sitting in Delmas.
Police spokesperson Colonel Donald Mdhluli said Thabiso Mogoe was found guilty of killing his girlfriend, Zanele Mthimunye, last year.
“The police management in Mpumalanga has welcomed the hefty sentence which was meted out by the Mpumalanga division of the High Court sitting in Delmas on Friday against a 33-year-old man who murdered his girlfriend.
“This terrible incident occurred at KwaMhlanga last year at which the court heard that Mogoe murdered Zanele Mthimunye, 32 years old, whom she dearly trusted,” said Mdhluli.
“According to the sequence of events, on September 14, 2019, Mogoe killed Mthimunye, who was his girlfriend at the time, and tried to cover his evil deeds by hiding her body in a steel box at their place of residence.”
He said that after the murder, Mogoe went into hiding, leaving Mthimunye’s young children and family wondering about her sudden disappearance.
“The family did not know of her whereabouts and only knew that she had disappeared.
“On Monday, September 16, 2019, her kids had no one to assist them in preparing for school as their mother was not available.
“Mthimunye’s brother assisted in looking for her and while searching in the place where she used to stay with Mogoe, he made the gruesome discovery of her lifeless body inside the said steel box,” said Mdhluli.
After the discovery of the body, police opened a case of murder and launched a manhunt for Mthimunye’s killer.
“An investigation was conducted by the astute members and after a week, they (police officers) made a breakthrough where they located Mogoe at his hiding place at Makhutso in Limpopo,” said Mdhluli.
After charging Mogoe with Mthimunye’s murder, the police officers discovered that he was also wanted for a rape case that had taken place in February, 2018.
“He was then positively linked to the case and was charged accordingly.”
Circumstances around the rape case, according to the SAPS in Mpumalanga, indicate that Mogoe confronted a 26-year-old woman who was walking with her boyfriend from “a place of entertainment” at Chillis Farm in Moloto.
Mogoe threatened the couple with a hammer and the boyfriend fled, leaving his girlfriend with the assailant.
“Mogoe then raped her and robbed her of her cellphone before he abandoned the scene. The matter was also brought to the attention of police, where a case of rape was opened with an additional charge of robbery,” said Mdhluli.
Judge Thando Mankge sentenced Mogoe to 10 years in prison for the rape, 15 years for the robbery and an additional 15 years for the murder of Mthimunye.
“When handing down the sentence, Judge Mankge indicated that count 1 (rape) and count 2 (robbery) will run concurrently, which implies that Mogoe will serve 30 years effectively behind bars,” said Mdhluli.
“The accused was also found to be unfit to possess a firearm and his name will be entered into the register of sexual offenders.
“The police management is hopeful that the sentence will indeed send a strong warning to perpetrators of crime that the arm of the law will catch up with them,” Mdhluli said.
African News Agency (ANA)