The Limpopo Polokwane High Court has convicted and sentenced former police officer Lesiba Machabaphala (29) to 25 years imprisonment for murder of a 15-year-old girl, Dimakatso Alicia Mohlaloga. The accused was convicted of attempted murder. Failure to lock away a firearm in a prescribed manner, malicious damage to property. Endangering the life of others by shooting negligently and defeating the ends of justice.
The former Protection Security Services unit in Polokwane and the deceased were staying in the same homestead as tenants. On 02 October 2020, the accused was seen moving around the house carrying a firearm in his hand. He then fired about fourteen shots at the door wherein the deceased and her mother were sleeping.
FORMER POLICE OFFICER RAN AWAY FROM THE SCENE
The door leading to the deceased’s room was damaged and one of the bullets strucked her. The accused further refused that the deceased must be taken to the hospital. Thereafter, he instructed a witness to transport him, his wife, and their child away from the scene. He then hid his firearm in a nearby shelter.
During trial the accused pleaded not guilty to the offence. In mitigation, the defence submitted that the accused is a first time offender, he is a breadwinner. e has two minor children, he lost his employment, he has been in custody since 2020, and he may have been under the influence of alcohol when committing the offence.
25 YEARS IMPRISONMENT FOR EX COP OFFICIAL
In aggravation of the sentence, the state advocate Ronald Sithada submitted that the accused is not remorseful. He only admitted to have killed the deceased only during mitigation hoping for lesser sentence. The mother of the deceased lost her only child and daughter.
He further said that the community was hoping to get protection from him as a police officer. ut instead he killed one of their own.
The state advocate prayed for life sentence and argued that there are no substantial or compelling circumstances to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence.
The court has sentenced Lesiba Machabaphala to 25 years imprisonment for murder. Five years for attempted murder, two years for failure to lock away a firearm in a prescribed manner. One year for malicious damage to property, two years for endangering the life of others by shooting negligently and five years for defeating the ends of justice.
The court further ordered that sentences must run concurrently.