Johannesburg – Cash-in-transit robbery kingpin Thabo Happy Mosia kidnapped, raped and murdered SBV employee Linda Matati. Those were the findings of Judge Avrielle Maier-Frawley of the Gauteng High Court, Joburg on Thursday.
Mosia, who was once one of the most wanted criminals in the country, had previously denied kidnapping, raping and later murdering Matati in October 2016 since his arrest in 2017.
Mosia assaulted Matati, then proceeded to rape her before killing and dumping her body, which was found at a mortuary in Bronkhorstspruit after a year-long search. Matati had last been seen with Mosia leaving a party south of Joburg.
After nearly five years of Matati’s disappearance followed by postponements and delays, Judge Maier-Frawley passed down her judgment. The court found Mosia guilty of rape, kidnapping, murder and defeating the ends of justice.
In her judgment, Judge Maier-Frawley said: “Instead of dropping off the deceased at the time when she was alive and uninjured, he led her to Finetown before going on with his normal criminal activities later that morning.”
She said Mosia’s evidence was questionable as he contradicted his statements and failed to explain details of his version of events which were not consistent, and contained new details that he had not mentioned earlier.
“The accused never told anybody about the alleged women that the deceased spoke to in the street, nor did he describe her physical appearance. It emerged for the first time in his evidence in court. In light of the full inspection of the evidence presented, which I have carefully considered, the accused’s version is not reasonable or possibly true.”
The court also found that Mosia deliberately used a vehicle without a tracking device to dispose of the deceased’s body and in so doing intended to defeat the ends of justice. Semen found in the dead woman’s genitalia also matched the DNA sample of Mosia.
Mosia, who was charged with six charges, was found not guilty of theft and robbery as the State could not prove beyond doubt the two charges.
Gloria Sibuye, the mother of Matati, said: “I am happy with the judgment today, even though Linda is not coming back. I am happy that the people terrorised by this guy will feel safe in the streets of Finetown and Soweto. I guess things went well as I had hoped for and I believe the judge will sentence him accordingly.”
Among those attending the case was the ANC Women’s League from the Harry Themba Gwala Branch zone 12 Intercity, who told The Star they were satisfied with the judgment, and that they will be attending the day of sentencing to support the family. The sentence will be handed down next month.