Pretoria – The High Court in Polokwane has sentenced 35-year-old Charles Moswathupha to three terms of life imprisonment, after convicting him on two counts of murder and a rape charge.
“The first incident happened on December 6, 2018 at Koteng squatter camp in Marble Hall. The body of a three-year-old Samson Sithole was found in the bushes near Koteng village with head injuries. The toddler had been reported missing,” said Limpopo spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi.
Moswathupha was later identified as the suspect in the gruesome murder of the child. Malabi-Dzhangi said Moswathupha subsequently vanished, after realising that the police were looking for him.
“The second incident happened at Serageng village in Sekhukhune district. He raped and throttled the deceased Boitumelo Ramatsobane Matsekoleng, aged six, who later died in hospital,” said Malabi-Dzhangi.
“Moswathupha was arrested by the residents of Serageng village. He later pointed out the scene of crime where Boitumelo was found.
“The six-year-old was then taken to the hospital after police were called to the scene. A few days later Boitumelo succumbed to the injuries.”
She said Moswathupa initially offered a plea and sentence agreement of 28 years but the state prosecution, led by Advocate Kgoputso Sekhukhune, rejected it.
“As a result, the accused [Moswathupha] tendered a plea of guilty. The court found him guilty as charged. In mitigation, Moswathupha testified that he was intoxicated when committing the offences and he was remorseful,” Malabi-Dzhangi said.
In aggravation of sentence, Sekhukhune argued that Moswathupha was not remorseful, and he had killed defenceless children who looked up to him as an elderly person for protection.
“Advocate Sekhukhune further argued that these offences were heinous. He concluded by praying for the prescribed minimum sentence,” said Malabi-Dzhangi.
“The court remarked that the accused is an evil man and he could not justify why he killed other people’s children while he had six children. The court sentenced him to three terms of life imprisonment.”
The National Prosecuting Authority has welcomed the hefty sentence imposed on Moswathupha. Provincial director of Public Prosecutions in Limpopo, Advocate Ivy Thenga said the sentence would serve a deterrent to would-be offenders.
African News Agency