MASERU — The man who killed ‘Mataata Thahanyane, wife of Chief Gerard Thahanyane of Ha-Thahanyane in Mafeteng, was on Tuesday sentenced to 37 years in prison by the Johannesburg High Court.
Jacob More, 47, was last Tuesday found guilty of the murder of Thahanyane who was killed in Soweto on November 1 2008.
More’s fellow detainees turned state witnesses and told Justice Frans Kgomo how he (More) bragged of how he had murdered Thahanyane.
The Sowetan, a South African daily, reported that after being sentenced More thanked the judge and asked if he could go and rest.
“More then put his hands together as if he was praying and said: ‘Baie dankie. Now let me go rest,’” said the report.
More was also said to have posed for pictures while in the dock.
This is said to have angered Chief Thahanyane’s sister Popi who had gone on behalf of her brother who is not feeling well.
“I cannot believe how cruel this man is,” the Sowetan reported Popi as having said after judgment was delivered.
“After everything he has put my brother through, he has the nerve to act like nothing wrong ever happened.
“I am grateful he will spend a long time behind bars and will not hurt anyone else.”
She told the paper that her brother’s health had not been well ever since his wife’s murder.
Popi said “villagers in HaThahanyane are devastated by Mataata’s (the chief’s wife) murder”.
“She helped put poor children through school. They never went hungry because Mataata arranged food packages,” she said.
During the trial the court heard how More had bragged about his murderous exploits to detainees in a holding cell at Jabulani police station on November 2 2008, a day after Thahanyane was murdered.
One of the people who were in that cell later turned state witness and gave evidence that sank More.
More escaped a rape charge because forensic evidence could not establish that vaginal penetration had taken place, the Sowetan said.
More was previously convicted for 10 crimes including four rapes.
Justice Kgomo said the time had come for him to be regarded a habitual criminal.
“The accused has not shown or demonstrated any remorse,” the judge said.