Nosicelo Mtebeni murder: Killer gets 25 years, but family 'not happy about lenient sentence'

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Convicted murderer Alutha Pasile talks to his lawyer Ncumisa Dyantyi.
Convicted murderer Alutha Pasile talks to his lawyer Ncumisa Dyantyi.
Malibongwe Dayimani
  • Alutha Pasile was sentenced to 25 years for the murder of Nosicelo Mtebeni. 
  • Mtebeni's father, Kholisile, described the sentence as lenient; he was not happy. 
  • Mtebeni's torso and legs were found stashed in a suitcase, while her head and hands were found in Pasile's possession. 

Slain University of Fort Hare student Nosicelo Mtebeni's family has rejected the 25-year jail term that the East London High Court handed to her killer, Alutha Pasile.

On Thursday, Judge Thami Beshe sentenced Pasile to 25 years for murder and 10 years for defeating the ends of justice.

The sentences will run concurrently. 

Pasile's lawyer, Ncumisa Dyantyi, had argued for 20 years in prison, saying Pasile was a first time offender, had showed remorse, and had no intention of killing Mtebeni. 

State prosecutor Nicki Turner asked for life imprisonment, and argued that the circumstances of the offence were aggravated and that the murder was premeditated. 

Handing down judgment, Beshe said Pasile had ample opportunity to reconsider his actions, but went ahead. 

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Beshe said she did not believe Pasile was remorseful, but wanted to save his own skin as soon as he was found out. 

Mtebeni's father, Kholisile, slammed the sentence as lenient.

He said:

I am not happy at all about this lenient sentence. It is disappointing, considering the brutality and gruesomeness of this crime. A man went to buy drugs in order to carry out this heinous crime. The law ran its course, but I am not happy. He is going to come out and possibly repeat the same offence.

Kholisile said he had expected Pasile to rot in prison, with no chance of parole. 

"I am forced to accept this sentence," he added.   

Beshe said: "Statistics pertaining to gender-based violence, alluded to by Ms Turner, are alarming. One is left wondering what it will take for the message that women and other vulnerable members of our community are entitled, and have a right, to live and be respected."

She noted that the crime, which took place on 17 August, happened during Women's Month. 

The South African government reacted to Mtebeni's murder with shock.

It said the incident and other brutal acts of violence against women in the country were a stark reminder that the ongoing fight against gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) was nowhere near the end.  

ALSO READ| 'I doubt I will ever recover from this' - Murdered law student's father breaks down in court

Beshe said she didn't believe a bright, educated and intelligent man, like Pasile, who researched various topics on the internet, was unaware of the government's efforts to end gender-based violence. 

She described Pasile as a man with a complete disregard for other people's human rights.    

Beshe noted that her sentencing coincided with the 16 days of no violence against women and children.   

Mtebeni's dismembered torso and legs were found stashed in a suitcase at the corner of Fleet Street and Fitzpatrick Road in Quigney early on 19 August. 

Two women had seen Pasile leaving the house, dragging the suitcase. 

They later led the police to Room 5 of the 10-roomed house, where they found Pasile in possession of Mtebeni's head and hands. 

The court heard that Pasile was still hatching a plan to dispose of the crucial body parts, including removing fingerprints, so as to make it difficult for police to ever find Mtebeni. 

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