PORT ELIZABETH – A youth who was 17 when he raped and murdered an elderly Uitenhage resident, should receive direct imprisonment under the Child Justice Act, the Port Elizabeth High Court heard on Monday.
Phumzile Mabope (19) was convicted last month on 12 charges which included murder, rape, robbery with aggravating circumstances and housebreaking with intent to steal.
The most horrific of the charges involved the brutal murder and rape of an elderly Uitenhage resident, 95-year-old Maria Vermaak.
Mabope had claimed that he had gone to Vermaak’s Luyt Street home to steal avocados from a tree on the property. He admitted to killing her, but denied the rape.
The elderly woman was severely assaulted and the court found Mabope had raped the woman before she died.
Between November 2015 and February 2017, the teenager went on a crime spree and broke into at least four homes and a business.
During pre-sentencing proceedings on Monday, his lawyer, Jodene Coertzen, said Mabope’s upbringing made for a sad story and that he embarked on a life of crime to survive.
Coertzen said that if he had received better guidance from his parents he might not be sitting in the position he is in today.
She, however, conceded that the only suitable sentence was that of direct imprisonment and asked the court to sentence him in terms of the Child Justice Act, with a jail term of less than 25 years.
Judge Dayalin Chetty will hand down the sentence on Thursday.