Smanga Kumalo— Jonhn Lerato Sekhoto (29) was sentenced to 20-years imprisonment for assaulting, killing and burning Ntomikayise Mtshkotshe beyond recognition. “People have no respect but they respect the dead person. Even if you are dead, they talk nice things about you” , said magistrate Nelson Mokwantla when he sentenced Sekhoto.
“Sekhoto, this is gruel and barbaric behavior. Her children are now left without a mother,” said Mokwantla. Sekhoto was staying with Mtshkotshe in one roof. The squabble broke after he had sold an RDP house at an amount of R25 000 to Mtshotshe and she only paid R12 000.
The court heard that he assaulted and stabbed her several times before dragging her to a veld were he poured petrol over her and burnt her beyond recognition. “She was burnt into pieces. In the interest of the community this is gruel” he explained.
Mokwantla said: “You are not the first offender to plead guilty. This was a cold blooded murder. After she was killed, her body was dragged and the evidence shows that and there is no evidence that the deceased didn’t pay the outstanding money”.
Mokwantla told the parked court that Sekhoto bought petrol not to fill it inside the car’s tank but to kill and burn Mtshkotshe purposefully. He added: “The aim was to mislead the investigation by dragging her body as it could have appeared as if she was attacked and killed (by someone else). The deceased was killed in her house”.
“The moral rule is that we must love and respect our neighbors. According to my view, to destroy a dead body is a serious offense. The man has courage to do bad things on somebody. If you kill somebody you take his or her rights. Even if you go for life imprisonment, you have more rights than the deceased,” said Mokwantla.
He concluded by saying Sekhoto is a first offender but he started on a bad foot.