The 25-year-old man accused of killing his girlfriend, Nosicelo Mtebeni, a student at the University of Fort Hare, has pleaded guilty to her murder.
The murder trial against Alutha Pasile began in the East London High Court on Monday, where he also pleaded guilty to defeating the ends of justice in front of Judge Michelle Beneke.
During the proceedings, the state said it sought an increased prison sentence for Pasile.
“The minimum sentence for murder is 15 years imprisonment. However, I have notified the court and the defence that in the events of a conviction, the state will request an increased sentence,” advocate Nickie Turner, for the state, said.
Mtebeni’s body parts were found in a suitcase in East London, Eastern Cape, in August this year.
The 23-year-old’s upper body was found stuffed inside a luggage bag on the corner of Fitzpatrick Street and Fleet Street in the Quigney area.
The victim’s head and hands were allegedly found in Pasile’s possession inside a room in a 10-room commune house.
Pasile and Mtebeni shared the house with other tenants.
The accused then subsequently confessed to killing his girlfriend following his arrest on 20 August.
Mtebeni’s murder came under the shadow of the two-year anniversary of Uyinene Mrwetyana’s murder.
Mrwetyana, who was a student at the University of Cape Town (UCT), was raped and killed inside a Post Office in Claremont, Cape Town, by teller, Luyanda Botha, on 24 August 2019.
Soweto body parts case postponed
The 26-year-old Soweto man linked to body parts discovered in his fridge is set to return to court on Tuesday, 30 November.
Flavio Hlabangwane appeared in the Protea Magistrates Court last Monday, where the court heard that he attempted to commit suicide before his second appearance.
It was the second time that Hlabangwane has tried take his life since his arrest on 13 November.
During the court proceedings, the accused abandoned his bail application, while his legal counsel lodged an application for him to undergo a mental assessment.
Speaking to Newzroom Afrika, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said the state would not oppose the application.
Mjonondwane also said a report would be compiled on whether Hlabangwane is fit to stand trial, once the assessment is complete.
The court, meanwhile, ordered that the he be placed in the hospital section at the Johannesburg Prison.
Hlabangwane was arrested following the discovery of body parts stashed inside his refrigerator in Protea Glen, Soweto.
His girlfriend made the gruesome discovery after Hlabangwane left the property to go to the shops to buy food, and she called for help from neighbours.
It has been reported that arms and legs were found in his fridge. The body parts have been linked to the disappearance of a 23-year-old woman from Soshanguve in Tshwane.