Cop jailed for girl's murder

judge portia phahlane has postponed the IPHC court case because of alleged death threats. File Photo
judge portia phahlane has postponed the IPHC court case because of alleged death threats. File Photo

The Limpopo Polokwane High Court has convicted and sentenced former police officer in Polokwane, Lesiba Machabaphala (29) to 25 years imprisonment for murder of a 15-year-old girl, Dimakatso Alicia Mohlaloga.

The accused was convicted of attempted murder, failure to lock away a firearm in a prescribed manner, malicious damage to property, endangering the life of others by shooting negligently and defeating the ends of justice.

The accused and the deceased were staying in the same homestead as tenants. On 02 October 2020, the accused was seen moving around the house carrying a firearm in his hand, he then fired about fourteen shots at the door where the deceased and her mother were sleeping. 

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The door leading to the deceased's room was damaged and one of the bullets struck her.

The accused further refused that the deceased must be taken to the hospital.

Thereafter, he instructed a witness to transport him, his wife, and  their child away from the scene. He then hid his firearm in a nearby shelter.

During trial, the accused pleaded not guilty to the offence. In mitigation, the defence submitted that the accused is a first time offender, he is a breadwinner, he has two minor children and he lost his employment. He has been in custody since 2020 and may have been under the influence of alcohol when committing the offence.

In aggravation of the sentence, the state advocate Ronald Sithada submitted that the accused is not remorseful. He only admitted to have killed the deceased only during mitigation hoping for lesser sentence. The mother of the deceased lost her only child.

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The NPA welcomes the sentence and hopes that it will send a strong message that no one is above the law. DPP Advocate Ivy Thenga applauds the good work of Adv. Sithada and IPID investigator Mboneni Ramadwa.

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