Three jailed for killing teenager

2019-06-05 06:01

The biological father of a teenager who conspired with the boy’s stepmother and a hitman to plot his brutal murder to avoid paying maintenance, has received jail sentence.

The Free State High Court sentenced the trio, Tebogo Matole (47), Kelebogile Matole (50) and Khoeliea-Marena Sefuthi (53), to 25 years imprisonment each for the murder of teenager Kearabetswe Leteane (17).

Judge Martha Mbele sentenced the three on 20 May, rendering justice to the teenager who was killed on 5 April 2017 in Gladstone outside Thaba Nchu.

The motive to kill the teenager was that the Matole couple did not want to pay maintenance for the teenager, the court heard. It was revealed that Matole, the deceased’s biological father, and Kelebogile, his stepmother, hired hitman Sefuthi to kill Kearabetswe.

Resistance to pay maintenance came after Kearabetswe’s biological mother, Jane Leteane, approached the maintenance court to apply for future maintenance when she heard that Tebogo Matole had resigned from his teaching job and was about to be paid his pension.

Phaladi Shuping, regional spokesperson for the Director of Public Prosecutions, said the court granted an order for the pension funds to be frozen until the maintenance issue was sorted. He said Matole denied being the father of Kearabestwe despite paternity tests confirming that he was the biological father.

Shuping said the maintenance matter was due to be heard in court on 6 April. He said according to evidence, Matole and Kelebogile dropped off Sefuthi in Gladstone on 5 April 2017. He said the hitman, a Lesotho citizen, was provided a picture of Kearabetswe, who was staying with his grandmother in Gladstone.

Sefuthi then killed Kearabetswe, shooting him twice – in the head and chest.

In aggravation, the state prosecutor, Adv. Amanda Bester, described Matole as a selfish and heartless father who killed his own son just because he did not want to take responsibility for his upbringing.

“This is a story of rejection and greed. He rejected the deceased before his birth. He rejected him after his birth because he never had any contact with him. He even rejected him after his death because he did not assist with his funeral and did not even bother to attend it. The accused took a life of an innocent child just because of greed,” said Bester.

Shuping said Sefuthi received an additional five years for possession of an illegal firearm.

“This five years sentence will run concurrently with the life imprisonment term for murder,” said Shuping. The trio will only qualify for parole after serving at least 25 years.

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