Court dismisses child killer’s appeal against her life term

Child killer's appeal against life term rejected. Picture: File

Child killer's appeal against life term rejected. Picture: File

Published Mar 8, 2024


The woman who was involved in the brutal abduction, rape and killing of a eight-year-old girl will have to face her two life terms behind bars, after the court had turned down her application for leave to appeal against her convictions and subsequent punishment.

Lerato Kgitsane turned to the Bloemfontein High Court following her conviction and sentencing last year, following the gruesome death of Bokamoso Shabe, who was abducted from Mmantshebo Primary School in Thabong in the Free State.

Her boyfriend, Motsika Rapuleng, was convicted prior to her and he was also given two life sentences. He spilt the beans on her and after his conviction and told the court that she was an accomplice in the abduction, rape and killing of the child.

Kgitsane, however, maintained that while she assisted in the child’s abduction, she walked away before her boyfriend had raped and killed the child.

It had emerged that the child was abducted for ransom, as Kgitsane and her boyfriend always spoke about ways to earn “easy money”.

During May 2021, the deceased's grandmother hired Rapuleng to do household repairs at their house. He was paid in full.

A month later, he conspired with Kitsane to kidnap the child from school and then to extort money from her mother and grandmother.

When the school adjourned on June 21, 2021, for the day, Kitsane approached the young girl as she was leaving the school grounds. She said she had items for sale and the child must take her to her grandmother’s house so she could buy her a tracksuit.

The trusting child left with Kitsane, who bought her sweets at a nearby shop.

Rapuleng, meanwhile, stopped next to them in his car and offered to give them a lift.

Rapuleng phoned the grandmother of the deceased. He disguised his voice by speaking in a Nigerian accent and demanded R50 000 in return for the child. He threatened to kill her if the money was not paid

That night the girl was kept at the house of the accused until the following afternoon.

Kitsane also phoned the grandmother and also demanded that R50 000 be deposited at PEP Stores.

Proof that the deceased was still alive was requested. An unknown child was instructed to speak to the family and to pretend that she was the deceased. The family immediately realised that it was not her.

When the money was not paid the next day, Rapuleng and Kitsane became despondent as they believed that they would not be paid. They decided to kill the girl so she would not be able to identify them.

The child was raped and then strangled. After that, her body, wrapped in a duvet, was left next to a road.

In turning down her application for leave to appeal, the court said Kgitsane was a pathetic witness. She simply denied any wrongdoing, while all fingers pointed to her as being an accomplice.

She was greedy and she fully participated in the abduction, rape and cold-blooded murder of the child, the court said.

Pretoria News

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