News / South Africa

Ilse de Lange
2 minute read
23 Aug 2018
6:25 am

I saw my friend strangling Kealebetse Seleka with shoelace, accused tells court

Ilse de Lange

John Lekubu admitted he had met the 15-year-old Centurion schoolgirl at the Brazzaville squatter camp, but insisted he had nothing to do with her murder.

File picture.

One of the men accused of murdering a 15-year-old girl he had met through a Facebook page called Blesser Finder told the High Court in Pretoria he had seen one of his friends strangling her with a shoelace.

John Lekubu yesterday admitted he had arranged with 15-year-old Centurion schoolgirl Kealebetse Seleka to meet at the Brazzaville squatter camp in November 2016, but insisted he had nothing to do with her murder.

Lekubu, Tebogo Mabulana, Lesole Mashao and Eugene Machete all pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping and murdering Kealebetse, and robbing her of her cellphone.

Lekubu testified that he had helped Mabulana find a girlfriend by placing an advertisement on Blesser Finder in which he said he was looking for a girl of over 23 to spend the night with and he would “bless” her.

Kealebetse phoned him about a month later and they started exchanging text messages. She told him she was 24 and sent him five photos of herself. They arranged to meet in Brazzaville a few days later.

When she arrived he told her he was not the one who was the blesser. She said she was fine with it as long as she got R3 500.

He then took her to Mabulana, who took the girl inside his shack. She was smiling when they came out 10 minutes later.

The girl started complaining of stomach cramps and was rolling around on the ground after she was given a meal. Mabulana and Mashao just kept on drinking and smoking dagga. Lekubu then went home, but later returned to Mabulana’s shack to fetch a baby bottle.

There was no one outside, but he saw Kealebetse’s cellphone and picked it up. He heard a groan coming from inside the shack, which was locked from the inside. He was curious and peeped inside, where he saw the girl lying on her stomach on the floor with Mashao holding her legs and Machete holding her head.

He saw Mabulana standing over her with a shoelace in both hands, putting the shoelace around her neck and pulling it until she stopped moving.

Lekubu said he saw Mabulana and Mashao carrying a heavy plastic bag on their shoulders to a small shack the next morning.

The trial continues.

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