Johannesburg – Thirty-nine-year-old Jacob Mokibe, who raped and strangled to death the 12-year-old daughter of the woman he claimed to have “feelings for”, has been slapped with a life sentence by the High Court in Johannesburg.
Mokibe was on parole last year in February when he raped and murdered little Mathlogonolo Maditse in Soweto.
The High Court had earlier convicted Mokibe of abduction, rape, murder, and obstructing or defeating the administration of justice.
Based on Mokibe’s plea explanation that he “killed the minor because he had feelings for her mother”, his previous convictions, and that he was on parole, the court ordered that the accused be referred to Sterkfontein Psychiatric Hospital.
The court had ordered a risk assessment ahead of sentencing to determine whether Mokibe could be declared a dangerous criminal or not.
The report compiled by the institution stated that Mokibe demonstrated a high risk of re-offending and posed a danger to society.
During the trial, the court heard that on a fateful day, (15 February 2022), Mathlogonolo left home and went to school, as she normally did.
Mokibe, who was known to Mathlogonolo’s family, waited for her outside her school in Dobsonville.
The accused saw Mathlogonolo and called out to her. He lied to the minor that her family had gone to the bushes to pray.
Mokibe told the unsuspecting child, who considered him her uncle, that he would accompany her to show her where her family was praying in the bush.
Once they were in a secluded area in the bush, Mokibe attacked the defenceless child. He raped her and, thereafter, strangled her to death.
The court heard that after the dastardly deed, Mokibe waited a while – to satisfy himself that Mathlogonolo was dead.
Mokibe hid the deceased’s body in the reeds before he fled the crime scene.
The accused told the court he later met up with a friend, and abused drugs and alcohol, which landed him in hospital.
Mokibe, who suffers from hypertension, said he was admitted to the Jabulani Hospital.
Two months after the murder, Mokibe was arrested for violating his parole conditions.
While incarcerated, Mokibe confessed to the murder of Mathlogonolo and he subsequently pointed out the crime scene to the police.
Mathlogonolo’s decomposed body was discovered on 24 March 2022.
In arguing for a harsh sentence, State Advocate Rotondwa Phungo stated that the accused killed the deceased most violently and brutally, even though Mathlogonolo trusted him and referred to him as “uncle”.
Advocate Phungoalso presented the victim impact report to the court that was compiled by the probation officer, Xoliswa Budaz.
The report said Mathlogonolo’s mother has not been the same since her daughter was murdered.
When the mother hears the sound of schoolchildren returning from school, she rushes out of the house to the street hoping to see Mathlogonolo walk back from school.
The court sentenced Mokibe to life imprisonment.