Brutal ‘Mohapi’ murder, 3 accused handed hefty sentences, George

South African Police Service

Brutal ‘Mohapi’ murder, 3 accused handed hefty sentences, George
Brutal 'Mohapi' murder, 3 accused handed hefty sentences, George

The Provincial Commissioner of the Western Cape, Lieutenant General Thembisile Patekile has welcomed the hefty sentences which were imposed on the three accused who stood trial for the Murder of the 25-year-old Hlompho Mohapi (Koloi) during July 2018.

The two male accused (1 and 3) were both sentenced to life imprisonment whilst accused no. 2 will effectively spend 20-years behind bars for her part in the murder of Mohapi.

These sentences was handed down by Judge Taswell Papier on Friday, 19 November 2021 in the George Circuit Court (High Court). Advocate Evadne Kortje from the National Prosecuting Authority represented the State.

On Thursday, 5 July 2018, a passer-by discovered the brutally mutilated body of Mohapi along the Voëlklip Road near Heralds Bay, George and alerted authorities.

She had sustained multiple stab wounds to the body and her throat was slit. Subsequent to thorough investigation and driven by police intuition, the investigation officer, Sgt Thembisile Matwa arrested accused no.3, Phumlani Qhusheka, whilst en-route to East London, near Knysna on Saturday, 7 July 2018. The accused was searched and the cellphone of the deceased was found in his possession, linking him directly to the Murder.

Further investigation led to the arrest of the mastermind, Pastor Melisizwe Monqo (33) and his wife Siphosihle Pamba (26) on 16 and 20 July 2018, respectively.

The motive behind this brutal murder was found to be greed as the accused coheres to kill the victim so they could claim life insurance which they took out on her name without her even have knowledge of it.

During the initial investigation it emerged that Mohapi was not the only victim of their fraudulent actions as they took out similar death policies in the names of other unaware victims in Thembalethu and as far as the Eastern Cape (East-London), also intending to kill them to have access to the policy money. They however survived. The court found that the accumulated beneficial monetary value of these fraudulent policies that was taken out at various insurance companies amounts to almost R27m (twenty seven million rand).

Monqo and his accomplice who is his cousin, Qhusheka both received life imprisonment for the death of Mahopi. In addition to Life-imprisonment, Monqo was sentenced to 252-years direct imprisonment on the 25 charges he was found guilty on which include multiple Fraud charges, Assault with the intent to cause grievously bodily harm (ETB), Attempted Murder, Kidnapping, Housebreaking with the intent to murder and Obstructing the ends of Justice, amongst others.

Quesheka was handed down an additional 63-years imprisonment for his part in some of the mentioned offences. In both occasions the sentences will run concurrently with their life sentences.

Monqo’s wife, Sphosihle Pamba was handed down 20-years-direct imprisonment for her involvement in the Mohapi’s Murder and added charges. She was also sentenced to an additional 156 years for various offences as mentioned in the cases of the other accused’. This sentence will run concurrently with the 20-years imposed for her role in the Murder. She will thus serve an effective 20-years behind bars.

Western Cape Provincial management has commended the investigating officer and those who had assisted him for their dedication and commitment which led to the arrest and subsequent conviction of the trio who had taken the innocent life of a young girl. A girl who had been lured to an interview for a job just to end up dead with the intent to claim from the insurance which was anyway fraudulently obtained. The Provincial Commissioner was pleased with the harsh sentences and hope that it will deter potential criminals from committing similar offences. This also demonstrate the commitment of SAPS, NPA and the Judiciary to bring justice to the people of this country.

SAPS Newsroom

SOURCESouth African Police Service