Johannesburg – A man from Vlakfontein in Gauteng has been sentenced to 20 years for killing a woman he was in a relationship with, and a further three years imprisonment for defeating the ends of justice by hiding her body underneath his bed.
Samuel Thokozane Sibeko pleaded guilty to all counts on October 7 and following the state’s acceptance of his plea, the Gauteng High Court accordingly found him guilty on all counts. The matter was then postponed to October 11 for sentencing proceedings.
In a statement issued by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), regional spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said Sibeko in his plea explanation, admitted that in the early hours of June 26, 2019, he strangled Mathapelo Alice Mbele inside his shack at Vlakfontein until she fell to the ground.
“He said that there was a heated argument about her coming home drunk the previous night. He added that he then tied her hands and feet separately and then left his shack for a few hours, thinking that she just lost consciousness. Upon return, he found that she was not breathing and it then dawned on him that he had killed her. Out of panic, he covered her body with a blanket and left to sleep with friends.
“After the fifth day, he decided to bury the body underneath his bed as an attempt to hide the crime from his friends, family and the police. When people asked about her whereabouts, Sibeko told them she went job-hunting and never came back,” Mjonondwane said.
Mjonondwane said that Sibeko continued sleeping over at his friends but would go over to his shack on weekends to check if the grave under his bed was not discovered.
“He states that, on 04 August 2019, he could no longer live with what he has done and decided to tell a communal friend about the murder and the grave. Sibeko asked the friend to call the police and when they arrived he pointed out the grave,” said Mjonondwane.
A GAUTENG murderer who killed his lover and hid her body under his bed has been sentenced to 20 years in prison by the South Gauteng High Court.
Samuel Sibeko had been in a relationship with Mathapelo Mbele when he killed her after an argument about her coming home drunk.
— Positiveflamessa (@Positiveflames1) October 11, 2021
The State Advocate, Coleen Ryan argued that violence against women had become a pervasive phenomenon internationally and this country had become the femicide capital of the world.
“The killing of women by their partners has clearly become an epidemic and enormous social problem,” said Ryan.
She further argued that this unconstitutional behavior should no longer be tolerated.
Handing down sentence, the Judge remarked that the court must individualise sentences and make it clear that this behavior cannot be tolerated.
“Men must protect women. The court must impose a proper sentence. This was a gruesome murder. The accused did not take the court wholly into his confidence and therefore failed to show genuine remorse,” he said.
Compiled by Reginald Nhlapo