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By Chulumanco Mahamba

Digital Night Supervisor

Woman, 21, and two friends convicted in family murder plot

Onthantile Sebati, along with Tumelo and Kagiso Mokone, convicted of plotting and executing the murder of Sebati's family when she was 15.

A 21-year-old woman who conspired with her two male friends to kill her family members when she was 15 has been convicted.

Onthantile Sebati, 21, Tumelo Mokone, 24, and Kagiso Mokone, 24, were found guilty of four counts of murder, theft, robbery with aggravating circumstances, possession of a firearm, and possession of ammunition by the Pretoria High Court recently.

Father, mother, pregnant sister and little brother killed

This comes after the state found evidence that Sebati conspired with her two friends to kill her father, mother, pregnant sister, and little brother at their home in Mmakau, North West.

According to National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) regional spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana, on 6 December 2016, Tumelo and Kagiso, who were 18 at the time, went to Sebati’s, who was 15, house to collect her father’s firearm.

The two boys returned to the house later that evening.

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“Sebati went outside pretending to dispose of water but went to open the gate for the two and gave Kagiso her father’s car keys that was parked outside. Tumelo then proceeded to enter the house, where he shot and killed Sebati’s 42-year-old father, a 40-year-old mother, a 19-year-old pregnant sister, and her 6-year-old brother,” Mahanjana said.

Tumelo and Kagiso then drove off in Sebati’s father’s vehicle before abandoning it after it got stuck in the mud a few metres away from the house.

Sebati confessed five years later

Five years later, on 17 December 2021, Sebati handed herself to the police and made a confession, which led to the arrest of Tumelo and Kagiso the next day.

Upon their arrest, the two men also made confessions to the police, detailing the roles they each played on the night when Sebati’s family was murdered.

Mahanjana said despite their individual confessions, all three of the accused pleaded not guilty to the charges and disputed the confessions. The confessions were, however, found admissible by the judge after a trial-within-a-trial.

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“Prosecutor Advocate Eric Sihlangu then led evidence that indeed Sebati organised a hit against her family and paid the two R50 000 each for the job. Furthermore, Kagiso was also linked to the offence by his fingerprints, which were found in the car,” Mahanjana said.

The NPA said that throughout the ruling, the judge agreed with the state that it had substantial evidence against the three.

Guilty of all charges

“The state was able to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt. Therefore, the three were found guilty of all the charges preferred against them,” the NPA said.

The sentencing proceedings are expected to take place from 16 to 19 April, 2024.

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