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Thahanyane’s killer to be sentenced in South Africa

Ntsebeng Motsoeli

MASERU — The Johannesburg High Court will on Tuesday sentence a man who was convicted of killing the wife of a local chief two years ago.

Jacob More was arrested on November 2, 2008 for killing ‘Mataata Thahanyane, the wife of Chief Gerard Thahanyane of Ha-Thahanyane. Thahanyane’s body was found dumped in a veld in Soweto. On Tuesday, More was found guilty of murder when he appeared before the Johannesburg High Court, according to a report in the South African daily newspaper, the Sowetan.

A charge of rape which had been levelled against more was dropped after forensic evidence could not prove “that vaginal penetration had taken place”, said the report.

The Sowetan said more had earlier bragged to fellow detainees at Jabulani police station in Soweto about his murderous exploits.

But a fellow detainee later turned a state witness and told Justice Frans Kgomo how More had bragged about the rape and murder of the chief’s wife.

“He told all those who cared to listen that he was arrested for murder and rape,” Justice Kgomo said. “Zakhele Nzuza, the detainee present in the cell with More, told the police what he had heard and later testified in court that hearing More speaking ‘disparagingly’ about Thahanyane ‘made me sick’,” Justice Kgomo said.

Justice Kgomo described Nzuza as an “impressive witness”. Nzuza told the court that his sister had been raped in the past and had therefore not taken lightly More’s disparaging comments about the rape of Thahanyane. More was arrested at his house while soaking bloodstained clothes in water. He had however told the court that the blood that was on the clothes was from a fight that he had with a man whom he had stabbed with a bottle.

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