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2022/10/24      |  Written By:  Colonel A Myburg   |   Province:  North West

POTCHEFSTROOM: 22 October 2022 – The Provincial Commissioner of North West, Lieutenant General Sello Kwena welcomed the life imprisonment sentence handed down to Benjamin Santa Mokone (52) by the Gauteng North High Court in Pretoria on Friday, 21 October 2022, for kidnapping and murder of his 7-year-old stepdaughter, Keitumetse Hope Tumelo.

The court heard evidence that Keitumetse was accompanied by her mother in the morning of Tuesday, 22 June 2021, to board a taxi to school. This was the last time her mother saw her alive. Later the same day at about 15:00, the mother confirmed with the caretaker that her child boarded the taxi, but she waited for her in vain next to the Main Road in Letlhabile. She, after getting worried, called the taxi driver, who confirmed that he dropped the child off at Block G, Letlhabile.

A missing person report was made at Letlhabile police station and the case was transferred to Brits Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS).

Excellent Investigation work by Captain John Legoale of the Brits FCS, led to the arrest of Mokone shortly after the incident was reported. Evidence heard in court revealed that camera footage obtained, showed how Mokone kidnapped Keitumetse when she alighted from the taxi in the afternoon of Tuesday, 22 June 2021. After his arrest, he took the police to Letlhabile Block H at a bushy area, where the half-naked body of Keitumetse was found with multiple injuries due to severe assault.

Mokone made initial court appearance in Brits on Friday, 25 June 2021. He abandoned bail and was remanded in custody until his sentencing. The case was transferred to Pretoria High Court, where Mokone who pleaded guilty on both charges of kidnapping and murder, was found guilty on Wednesday, 19 October 2022, and sentenced as follows:

Count 1: Murder – Life imprisonment

Count 2: Kidnapping - 5 years imprisonment

The Provincial Commissioner commended the Investigating Officer and prosecution for securing the sentence and reiterated that those who perpetrate Gender Based Violence will be shown no mercy.