Man convicted of killing pregnant partner

2014-12-13 07:05

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Pretoria - A Pretoria businessman and three people who helped him murder his pregnant partner six years ago were convicted by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Friday.

Judge Winston Msimeki found Brooklyn Pieter Moon, 43, a businessman from Waverley, in Pretoria, Thapelo Tumelo Kekana, 27, and Tshepiso Maluleke, 33, of Soshanguve, guilty of murdering Moon's partner Antoinette Botha in 2008.

A traditional healer from Uganda, Umala Walusimbi, 47, was found guilty of conspiring with the others to murder Botha.

Walusimbi's wife Florence was earlier discharged because of lack of evidence.

Botha, 45, who worked as a matron at the Moot Hospital in Pretoria, was eight months pregnant with their second son.

She was found bludgeoned to death with a brick in the main bedroom of the house she shared with Moon. She died on the scene of a severe head injury.

The scene was staged to look like a robbery and Botha's black Mercedes-Benz was removed. It was found abandoned in Soshanguve later the same day.

The State alleged Moon had a secret love affair with another woman, who used to visit his house while his wife was at work.

Msimeki found that Moon enlisted the services of Walusimbi, who in turn involved Maluleke. Maluleke involved his friend Kekana.

Kekana was linked to the murder through a cap with his DNA on it, found at the murder scene, and his fingerprints inside Botha's car.

Moon refused to testify in the trial. The court accepted a confession in which he admitted planning Botha's murder.

Walusimbi testified that Moon had approached him to throw the bones for protection as he was always at war with his wife.

A few days later Moon phoned him and asked him for muti to kill his wife.

Walusimbi gave him herbs used as painkillers, but told him they would kill his wife.

Moon later came back, complaining that the herbs had not worked. He was angry and wanted a R600 refund.

He also asked Walusimbi where he could obtain a firearm.

Walusimbi claimed he asked Maluleke to pretend he could get a firearm so that they could rob Moon of the money, and denied any involvement in the murder.

Denial

Kekana and Maluleke also at first denied their involvement in the murder, but Kekana later made admissions which placed him at the scene.

Msimeki found that the evidence against Moon as the mastermind behind Botha's murder was overwhelming.

"He wanted his wife killed and he did everything to achieve that. He was heavily involved and he cannot escape from a conviction of premeditated murder," he said.

Msimeki found that Moon, Kekana and Maluleke were all in the bedroom when Botha was murdered.

"It makes no difference if the deceased was killed by Moon, Kekana or any other person in their presence.

"They all intended to kill the deceased. They all had the same common purpose to murder her," Msimeki said.

The trial was provisionally postponed to 3 February next year.

The long delay in completing the trial was caused by the ill health of the judge, a defence advocate and some of the accused.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  crime

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