Article by: Dumisane Dube
The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria has sentenced a 31-year-old man to one life term and an additional five years in prison for the murder of his three-month old baby boy and defeating the ends of justice
Thabang Lephoi was convicted of murder by Judge Maumela Tshifhiwa on 14 April 2021. Lephoi was arrested in 2017 after assaulting the mother’s child and murdering the baby.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Regional Spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana says he has been remanded in custody since his arrest in 2017.
“On 10 November 2017 in the morning, Lephoi returned back from a night shift at about 7AM to the house he shared with the mother of the baby. When he arrived, he started packing the baby’s belongings and preparing the baby. When the mother asked about it, he said he was taking the baby to live with his mother in Vryburg. They started arguing, the mother was refusing Lephoi to take the baby to his mother’s place. In the process of arguing and pulling the baby back and forth, Lephoi assaulted the mother. She then left the house to look for Lephoi’s uncle who stayed nearby in order to ask for his intervention,” explains Mahanjana.
After coming back from the uncle’s house, Lephoi had taken the baby and left the house.
“She went to report the matter to the police station. Lephoi was called by the police and was asked for his whereabouts and those of the baby. He agreed to come to the police station where the mother was. When he arrived at the police station, he asked to take the police to where the baby was. Upon arrival, he pointed the police to a shallow hole where the body of the deceased baby was covered with huge rocks,” further explained Mahanjana.
State Advocate, Juliet Makgwatha said the accused was in a position of trust and had a duty to care, nurture, love and protect the deceased. Instead, he betrayed this trust in the worst possible way, killing him in a gruesome manner.
“He did this just to spite the mother of the deceased and this constituted the worst form of Gender Based Violence,” she Makgwetha.
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