The High Court of South Africa; North West Division sitting at Mogwase Regional Court, found Thapelo Ramoruki (29), guilty of the murder of Tsholofelo Tsheko, known to be his girlfriend. The court found him guilty of a count of murder and pointing of a firearm. He was acquitted on a charge of kidnapping and unlawful possession of a firearm. Sentencing is set for 18 May 2022.
It is alleged that on 12 January 2021, Ramoruki who is a traditional healer together with Tsheko, their one-month-old baby and Tsheko’s younger brother drove to Sandfontein cemetery to perform a ritual for his child. He took with him petrol, a pellet gun, a knife and traditional beer for that purpose. They then performed the ritual and subsequently moved to a nearby dam to cleanse themselves before going home.
Upon arrival at the dam, Ramoruki pointed a gun at himself, then later pointed it at Tsheko and ordered her to hand over the baby to her younger brother. He further instructed them to wait in the car. He then poured her with petrol and set her alight. He went on to stab her in the abdomen several times while she was burning. Tsheko’s younger brother then saw flames and heard his sister screaming for help. He then took off with the car to seek help, police were also called and the suspect was arrested on the scene. Tsheko was rushed to Moses Kotane hospital, to receive medical attention but she died on 13 January 2021.
The post-mortem report determined the cause of death as multiple injuries, caused by stab and burn wounds. The state prosecutor, Adv. Sello Maema argued that the murder was planned and premeditated. In passing judgement, Judge Tebogo Djadje agreed with the state and found Ramoruki guilty on a charge of murder, as well as pointing a firearm. Ramoruki will remain in police custody until the matter is concluded.