Couple found guilty of murdering former Free State mayor

2011-08-04 15:46

A former manager at the Naledi municipality and her husband have been found guilty of murdering a former mayor of the Free State municipality.

Caroline Mokgothu and her husband, James, sat closely together for the four hours during which Free State Judge President HM Musi read his verdict to a jam-packed courtroom today. The mother and sisters of the victim, former mayor Motlatsi Motloi, and the family of the accused couple sat in the front row. Outside the Bloemfontein High Court, a large group of people – some dressed in ANC colours – waited for the verdict.

Musi said Caroline Mokgothu had falsely downplayed the problems between her and Motloi.

Mokgothu testified earlier that she had had a good relationship with Motloi. But a state witness testified that she laughed the first time – in November 2009 – she talked about killing Motloi.

The court found that:
» A meeting, which included Caroline Mokgothu, was held during which Motloi’s murder was plotted;
» James Mokgothu joined in the plot and provided the murder weapon;
» The couple harboured the hit men on the weekend before the murder; and
» On May 3 last year, these men shot and killed Motloi.

Senowe Khaka, a Lesotho resident, was earlier sentenced to 21 years in prison for murdering Motloi. Khaka testified that state witness Sabata Potele, who is a former employee of the Naledi municipality, recruited him to kill Motloi and introduced him to Caroline Mokgothu.

The couple will be sentenced on August 25.

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