The alleged killers of Constable Thato Mokhoana (26), an off-duty police officer who was found murdered outside Mahikeng on 29 July 2020, were convicted by the High Court of South Africa; North West Division on 4 October 2022.
Magano Clouphus Tsatsi (46) and Goitseone Chiwawa Maseng (34) were each sentenced to life imprisonment for murder and fifteen (15) years imprisonment for robbery with aggravating circumstances.
A multi-disciplinary team consisting of the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation, assisted by members of Local Criminal Record Centre (LCRC), Detective services, K9, Crime Intelligence and Flying Squad launched a man-hunt for the killers.
During investigations, the vehicle of the deceased was found torched at Majemantsho village. Thereafter, on 4 August one suspect was arrested, a few days later, additional suspects were arrested after they were found in possession of the deceased’s cell phones.
It later emerged that Maseng had sold the cell phones to the other suspects and the charges against all the other suspects were subsequently dropped. Maseng confessed to have sold the cell phones and further confessed to have been present during the murder of Constable Mokhoana and indicated that the deceased was shot by Tsatsi.
The team proceeded to Tsatsi’s house at Majemantsho village where they recovered a 9mm service pistol, ammunition and handcuffs belonging to the deceased. The accused was arrested later that day with his son, when the police raided the house again and found the duo hiding outside their neighbour’s house.
The charges against his son were later dropped. Tsatsi and Maseng were released on R3000 and R2000 bail respectively and made a series of court appearances until ultimately being found guilty.
In aggravation of sentence, Adv Cain Nontenjwa urged the court not to deviate from the minimum prescribed sentence, considering the serious nature of the offence. Judge Andre Petersen agreed with the state and further remarked on the devastating impact this murder must have been to the family of the deceased.
The Provincial Head for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation – Major General Patrick Mbotho and the Director of Public Prosecution Dr Rachel Makhari – Sekhaolelo hailed the multi-disciplinary team that worked relentlessly to ensure the perpetrators are arrested and brought to book. They further applauded the excellent work by both the investigation officer and the prosecutor. “It is our hope that this sentence will serve as a deterrent to all and as a reminder that we will not tolerate such heinous crimes in the North West Province.”