News / South Africa

Ilse de Lange
2 minute read
11 Jan 2018
7:20 am

Accused ‘torn from the inside’ for ‘mistakenly’ taking teen’s life

Ilse de Lange

The women kidnapped Boitumelo from the Eletra Secondary School where she was a Grade 12 pupil.

Photo: Supplied

A 24-year-old Letlhabile woman yesterday apologised in tears to the family of the young schoolgirl she murdered by dousing her with petrol and setting her alight out of jealousy.

Cynthia Mosupi, 24, testified in mitigation at the High Court in Pretoria after Judge Tshifiwa Maumela earlier convicted her and her friend, Sharon Gugu Thwala, 25, on charges of kidnapping and murdering Letlhabile schoolgirl Boitumelo Dlamini, 18, in June 2015.

The women kidnapped Boitumelo from the Eletra Secondary School where she was a Grade 12 pupil.

They drove with her to the bushes near the Klipgat cemetery where she was dragged out of the car, doused with petrol and set alight.

A video their friends took of the pleading schoolgirl’s agonising death, in which her loud screams and cries could clearly be heard, was used as evidence in the trial.

The judge found that Mosupi and Thwala had planned in advance to confront Boitumelo about her suspected relationship with Mosupi’s former boyfriend.

He rejected their claims that they only wanted to scare Boitumelo by dousing her with petrol, and that she was accidentally set alight when someone lit a cigarette.

The judge found that the only reasonable inference was that Mosupi had set her alight and in the process sustained severe burns which landed her in hospital for several months.

Mosupi testified that she had thought about contacting Boitumelo’s family to apologise but was scared because what she did to their child was so painful.

She read out a letter in which she apologised to Boitumelo’s family for taking their only daughter in such a monstrous manner and also begged her own family and the community for forgiveness.

She said she was “torn from the inside” to think that she had “mistakenly” taken a life, but had let anger drive her to a point where she lost control over the situation and reiterated that it had not been her intention to kill Boitumelo.

A social worker said in a report that Boitumelo’s mother, Annah Dlamini, was still extremely angry and traumatised about her only child’s death and would like the accused “to be punished to death like my daughter”.

She said Dlamini, who was the first person to reach the crime scene, had lost a lot of weight, battled to sleep at night, still had flashbacks, isolated herself from her family and appeared extremely depressed.

The trial was provisionally postponed to March.

North West teen murder case postponed to January

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