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Justice server for Bokamoso Shabe (8), accused to serve four life sentenced for murder, rape, kidnapping and extortion

Media Statement
South African Police Service
Office of the Provincial Commissioner Free State


FREE STATE - An eight-year-old learner of Mantshebo Primary school, Bokamoso Shabe was lured from school by the accused, Lerato Mirriam Khitsane by pretending to be the friend of Bokamoso's mother who was selling clothes, traveling with a white Volkswagen Jetta sedan. A case of kidnapping was registered on the 21 June 2021 after the child never returned home.

There were people who contacted the family of Bokamoso demanding a ransom of R50 000 for the release of the child. They told the family in the negotiations that they were Nigerians and if the ransom was not paid, the child will be raped and murdered. The negotiations continued until the 24 June 2021, the ransom was brought down to R3000.

The family was not able to pay the ransom and negotiations broke down. After a thorough investigation and leaving no stone unturned the first suspect Stompi Motsika Rapuleng was arrested on the 24 June 2021. Which led to the discovery of the  lifeless body of Bokamoso Shabe wrapped in a blue blanket on the 24 June 2021 at about 15:00 dumped near the road in an open field between Riebeeckstad and Thabong.

Charges of Murder, Rape and Extortion were added and the case was assigned to Detective Warrant Officer Bertus Olivier of Thabong Serious and Violent Crime who engaged Crime Intelligence to assist with the investigation to gather information.

A white Jetta used to kidnap the victim from school and the second suspect Lerato Merriam Khitsane was arrested. A thorough investigation was conducted which led the case to Welkom and Bloemfontein High Court respectively.

The two accused were found guilty as charged and sentenced on the 03 November 2023 as follows:

Accused number 1:  Motsika Stompi Rapuleng (48 years old) : Welkom High Court sentenced on the 6 May 2022.
Count 1 Kidnapping: 8 years in jail
Count 2: Extortion: 5 years in jail
Count 3: Rape: Life sentence
Count 4: Murder: Life sentence. He was on parole for Murder committed at Clarens.

Second accused: Merriam Lerato Khitsane (46 years old):  Bloemfontein High Court:
Count 1: Kidnapping: 15 years in jail
Count 2: Extortion: 5 years in jail
Count 3: Rape: Life sentence
Count 4: Murder: Life sentence

The High Court ordered that both accused be entered into the National Register for Sexual Offenders and both be deemed unfit to work with children for life.

The investigator Warrant Officer Bertus Olivier, Crime Intelligence and other Specialized Units like Welkom K9 Unit, Welkom LCRC, Welkom POP and Welkom Flying Squad and hostage negotiators were applauded for a joint effort which resulted in these heavy sentences that will sent a strong message to murderers and rapists of women and children to stop these horrible acts.


Captain Stephen Thakeng