By Jonk wa Mashamba
The High Court of South Africa; North West Division sentenced Karabo Bahurutshe(21) to life imprisonment for murder and a further ten years for rape.
The court declared the sentences to run concurrently.
On Thursday, 07 October 2021, Bahurutshe’s attorney read his pleas statement to which he pleaded guilty on a charge of rape and one of murder.
He pleaded not guilty to a charge of attempted murder as well as one of defeating the ends of justice.
The state and the court accepted the plea and to that effect Judge Snyman found Bahurutshe guilty of murder and rape.
He was the sentence to life imprisonment and ten (10) years.
On the day of judgement, Bahurutshe, through his attorney indicated that he was not well and the court instructed that he gets medical attention.
He later appeared in court after he was declared fit to attend trial by a doctor from Mafikeng Provincial Hospital.
Regional NPA spokesperson, Henry Mamothame said that on 01 December 2019 Bahurutshe was at a local tavern in Ramosadi village in Mahikeng when the deceased, Gomolemo Legae arrived in the company of friends.
“They then at a later stage left the tavern together. Evidence led in court revealed that along the way Bahurutshe raped Legae thereafter stabbed her multiple times.
“He then left her there to purchase petrol at a nearby petrol station, to which he poured on her before setting her alight. He then fled the scene, but handed himself over to the police at a later stage after hearing from a relative that police were searching for him.
“In his defence, he alleges that Legae threatened to have him arrested for raping her and he subsequently panicked and decided to kill her as he didn’t want to go to jail,” Mamothame said.
Bahurutshe told the court that Legae was his girlfriend and on the night of the incident, she insisted on leaving with him to his home to have sexual intercourse but he refused.
“He then suggested that they have sex on the side of the road and the deceased refused. He nonetheless continued to rape and murdered her,” said Bahurutshe.
In aggravation of sentence, Advocate Kalakgosi argued that the court should consider the gruesome and heartless manner in which Legae was murdered.
He alluded to the misery Legae’s family went through, which resulted in her father taking his life following her daughter’s gruesome murder.
He further alluded to the period at which this incident took place, which signifies a time when the country observed and advocated for Activism Against the Abuse of Women and Children, as well as Gender Based Violence and Femicide.
In sentencing, Judge Snyman indicated that Bahurutshe showed no remorse for his action. She further emphasized on the need for the country to move forward progressively in the fight against the scourge of Gender Based Violence and Femicide.