Debeila (33) raped and strangled his daughter (11) to death. He also killed his girlfriend before he ran away

By Jonk wa Mashamba

The Pretoria High Court has sentenced Kenneth Sego Debeila (33), from Nellmapius to two life terms for the rape and murder of his daughter, Angela Tshepang Makhura (11).

He was also sentenced to 15 years of direct imprisonment for the murder of his long-term girlfriend of 18 years Itumeleng Bervely Makhura.

According to NPA spokesperson, Lumka Mahanjana, the court ordered that the sentences should run concurrently, and he be declared unfit to possess a firearm.

“Additionally, the court ordered that his name be added to the national register for sexual offenders and that the families of the victims be informed and can make representations should Debeila be considered for parole,” she said.

Mahanjana said on 18th March 2022, Deneila and Itumeleng met at a club and after they went to his place.

She said when they arrived, a verbal and physical altercation ensued between the two of them when Deneila strangled and killed her.

On 19 March 2022, the two children he shared with Itumeleng, Tshepang and a 5-year-old boy visited him for a sleepover at his place.

“That night, the son shared a room with a family relative and Tshepang shared a bed with him. While sleeping Debeila raped and strangled his daughter to death.

“On 20 March 2022, the mother and grandmother of the deceased met Debeila on the way carrying bags. When she asked about Itumeleng, he told her that she was sleeping at his house.

“When she arrived at the house, looking through the window, she saw the 11-year-old girl’s body, on top of the bed with foam coming out of her mouth.

“When she went in, she called the police, and the body of the 11-year-old was taken,” said Mahanjana.

She said the community then started searching for Itumeleng. After a while, they went back to the house to search for her again and found her body under the bed later that day.

“Debeila was arrested two months later on 13 May 2022, in Limpopo after handing himself over to the police.

“In court he pleaded guilty to the charges. Through his attorney, he told the court that he was remorseful because he handed himself over to the police and did not waste the court’s time by pleading guilty.

“However, the state Advocate Thembile Nyakama, said that Denelia only pleaded guilty because the state had overwhelming evidence against him, and DNA linked him to the offence.”

Furthermore, Nyakama said Deneila killed his girlfriend, a mother to his children and his 11-year-old daughter, whom he was supposed to protect, but chose to rape and kill her.

Therefore, she asked the court to impose a sentence of life imprisonment. Nyakama also called to the stand the mother and grandmother of the victims, who explained to the court that since the incident she has been unable to sleep and is suffering from memory loss and high blood pressure.

Judge Munzhelele agreed with the state and said such offences were prevalent, and that Gender Based Violence (GBV) had been declared a pandemic in South Africa.

Munzhelele said courts must ensure that the sentence given must align with the gravity of the offence.

Therefore, she found no compelling and substantial circumstances to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence.

“The Director of Public Prosecutions Advocate Sibongile Mzinyathi welcomes the sentence in hopes that the sentence will send a strong message that crimes of GBV will not be tolerated but will be prosecuted,” said Mahanjana.

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