News / South Africa

Ilse de Lange
2 minute read
21 Jan 2017
7:15 am

Talking in sleep reveals killer

Ilse de Lange

Girlfriend reveals all to family after she is roughed up to keep her quiet.

Picture: iStock

A 36-year-old killer’s pillow talk has resulted in his conviction and life sentence for the murder of a Mamelodi woman five years ago.

Yesterday in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, Judge Pierre Rabie sentenced Enock Nkuna of Nelspruit to life imprisonment for the execution-style murder of Stephina Masebe at her home in Mamelodi East in February 2012.

Nkuna was sentenced to a further 22 years’ imprisonment for attempting to murder Masebe’s brothers, Energy and William Masebe, and throttling the girlfriend of one of Masebe’s sons.

Mrs Masebe was dragged out of her house and shot in cold blood after Nkuna and two of his friends barged into her house. When her brothers tried to intervene, both of them were shot as well. Clara Ntobela was grabbed by her neck, pushed to the ground and told to keep quiet during the attack. She identified Nkuna as her attacker.

Nkuna fled to his homestead in Nelspruit after the incident and was only arrested two years later after confessing his crime to his girlfriend while they were in bed.

His girlfriend, Lindiwe Thombokwayo, testified that Nkuna had a nightmare one night during which he said repeatedly in his sleep: “Stephina, forgive me.” When she questioned him, he confessed that he had pulled a woman out of her house and shot her.

He told her his friend Soli had sent him to Stephina Masebe’s house. Apparently, she and Soli were joint owners of a taxi and Soli wanted her killed so that he could be the sole owner of the taxi. He asked her to get a traditional healer to treat him so he could forget about it all as it was haunting him.

She said he had warned her to keep quiet and she was later attacked at his home by two of his friends who started to undress her as a warning because she had threatened to tell Stephina’s family. After this, Thombokwayo contacted one of Masebe’s brothers and told him everything, whereafter he went to the police.

Judge Rabie said it was clear that Nkuna had hatched an elaborate plan to murder Masebe, although the true motive was not clear. He said it was aggravating that Nkuna knew Masebe was not alone in the house, yet proceeded with his brazen and cold-blooded crimes.


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