Thabo Raymond Maake (39) was sentenced to life imprisonment by the High Court of South Africa, Gauteng Local Division, Johannesburg for killing his girlfriend, Thokozile Sinah Kubheka. Maake was sentenced to three years for malicious injury to property (MITP), 12 months for assault with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm and life imprisonment for murder, with the sentences imposed for MITP and assault ordered to run concurrently with the one imposed for murder.
Kubheka was in a violent relationship with the accused. Two months before her death, the accused proceeded to the deceased`s parental home in possession of a canister containing petrol, set clothing and several items belonging to the deceased and her siblings alight. Before her death, Maake threatened to kill the deceased in the presence of her mother and 12-year-old daughter.
On 10 July 2022, the accused severely assaulted Kubheka, in the presence of his male friend, who later informed Kubheka’s family about the assault. They tried calling her, to no avail, which prompted them to start looking for her. The family members found the accused hanging around with his friends at a car wash. They enquired about the whereabouts of the deceased and he gave them various explanations, which did not tie up.
The accused handed the keys to the house he was renting with the deceased and fled to his parental home. Upon entering the house, they found the deceased`s lifeless body lying on the floor with a rope tied around her neck. The accused was arrested by the police at his parental home where he was found hiding under a bed.
In requesting the court not to deviate from imposing life imprisonment, as the murder was premeditated, Senior State Adv. Patric Mkhari submitted that these gruesome acts of violence against women cannot go unpunished. He also handed a victim impact statement of the deceased`s daughter, where she authored that she is heartbroken as she lost her mother, who was her caregiver.
In imposing the sentence, Judge Ishmail stated that there are no substantial and compelling circumstances to deviate from imposing the prescribed sentence. “The offence is that of typical femicide. Not a day passes without hearing that a woman is killed in our country” he added.
The National Prosecuting Authority commends Warrant Officer Abram Mphele from the Vosloorus South African Police Service and Adv. Mkhari for their efforts that led to a successful prosecution.