Man convicted to 30 years for murder of lover, rape and robbery

The Mpumalanga Division of the High Court sitting in Delmas sentenced a 33-year-old man who murdered his girlfriend to 30 years imprisonment last Friday.

This incident occurred in KwaMhlanga last year. The court heard that Thabiso Mogoe murdered Zanele Mthimunye (32). According to the sequence of events, on Saturday, September 14, 2019, Mogoe killed Mthimunye and tried to cover his tracks by hiding her body in a steel box at their place of residence.

Thereafter, Mogoe went into hiding. 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 search for her and while looking at the place where she used to stay with Mogoe, he made the gruesome discovery of her lifeless body inside the the steel box.

READ: Man sentenced to 20 years behind bars for murder of lover

The police and the medical personnel were notified about the incident and upon arrival, Mthimunye was certified dead by the paramedics. Subsequently police opened a case of murder and launched a manhunt for her killer. An investigation was conducted and after a week, the police made a breakthrough where they located Mogoe from his hiding place at Makhutso in Limpopo.

“Mogoe was charged with Mthimunye’s murder and the investigation by the police also unearthed that Mogoe was being sought for a rape case which took place on February 5, 2018. He was then positively linked to the case and was charged accordingly as well,” read the police statement.

Details of the rape incident were also revealed in court, indicating that in the early hours of that day, a 26-year-old woman, together with her boyfriend were on their way home from a place of entertainment and as they were passing Chillis Farm in Moloto, they came across Mogoe who threatened them with a hammer and the boyfriend fleed leaving his girlfriend with Mogoe.

ALSO READ: Man convicted for stabbing ex-lover to death

He then raped her as well as 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.

The sentences were handed down as follows:

Count 1: rape, sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.

Count 2: robbery, sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.

Count 3: murder, sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.

When handing down the sentence, Judge Thando Mankge indicated that Count one and two will run concurrently which implies that Mogoe will serve 30 years effectively behind bars. The accused was also found to be unfit to possess a firearm and his name will be entered into the register of sexual offenders.

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