The Guard

The Truth On Board


By Masilo Malakwane

BETHLEHEM- The Bloemfontein high court sitting in Bethlehem has sentenced Teboho Tshepo Moleleki, 29, to 33 years imprisonment for murder and robbery on January 29,2021.

Moleleki who hails from Bolata in Qwaqwa, is the son of former Executive Mayor of Maluti a Phofung (MAP) local municipality and current Free State Member of Provincial Legislature(MPL) Sarah Moleleki, was convicted of robbery and murder of Benedict Malebo,27 who was a  taxi driver.

According to police sequence of events, Malebo, was approached by Moleleki who wanted a special trip from Phuthaditjhaba to Pretoria. They left the taxi rank together and that was the last time Malebo was seen alive.

Malebo’s father opened a missing person case at Phuthaditjhaba Police Station on the 25th of September 2018, after his son was not seen nor heard from for three days.

“On the 16th of July 2019, Malebo’s skeletal remains were recovered by the owner of the house in which Moleleki stayed in, buried a shallow grave in the bedroom. The owner was Moleleki’s relative and Moleleki was a caretaker as the owner had relocated to Bethlehem. Moleleki stayed alone at the time. The owner of the house died before the start of the trial” police said in a statement.

Addressing the court during the mediation of sentence, State Prosecutor, Dansi Mpemvane, stated that even though the state evidence is purely circumstantial,

“It all points to Moleleki and he failed to give a proper explanation of how he ended up driving Malebo Toyota Quantum to Pretoria. There is no direct evidence pointing to the accused but the only inference that can be made is that he is responsible for the death of the deceased.”

The court heard that Moleleki was the last person to be seen with the deceased and was in possession of the vehicle that was entrusted to the deceased.

“He was found in possession of the deceased’s wallet, driver’s license and identity document and above all, the body of the deceased was discovered in a house occupied by the accused. It is highly impossible that any other person could have killed the deceased in that manner, “submitted Mpemvane.

 Calling for harsh sentence Mpemvane argued that the convict did not even show remorse and the state’s version far outweighs the version of the accused.

“I call for harsh punishment because he did not show any remorse”. argued Mpemvane.

While handing down the judgement, Judge Mpina Mathebula agreed with the prosecutor that the offences committed by Moleleki call for a harsh punishment.

He sentenced him to 20 years for murder and 13 years for robbing Malebo of his vehicle, a Toyota Quantum on September 22, 2018.

Judge Mathebula also indicated that this sentence should run concurrently, which implies that Moleleki will serve 33 years effectively behind bars.

 The Public Prosecutions in the Free State has commended the work done by the prosecutor and the investigating officer, Warrant Officer Thipa Selepe for ensuring that the accused is punished for his evil actions.

Acting Director Adv Navilla Somaru said in a statement.

 Welcoming the sentence, Malebo’s family spokesperson, Ntoai Modise conveyed his gratitude towards the justice system of the Free State and all the members of the community who supported the family during the trial period.

“Honestly, we are satisfied with the outcome of the judgment and can safely get the closure and move on, because it was never easy both psychologically and physically. We wish to thank all residents of Katlehong Village, all local non-profit organization during our trying times. Special thanks go to MAP16 Civic Movement for holding our hands till the last day.” Concluded Modise.

Meanwhile, this trial has enticed many local organizations within MAP and on the fourth front was the MAP16 Civic Movement since the bail hearing in Phuthadtjhaba Magistrate court before the case was moved to Bethlehem, in an interview with The Guard   Paratlane Motloung, MAP16 spokesperson after the court verdict, expressed his jubilant for the outcome of the court saying it was long overdue.

 “We welcome the judgment and salute the state with a job well done.  Finally, the justice has been served and now the family will be able to get closure and close the chapter,” said Motloung.