A 43-year-old man who was found guilty of brutally stabbing his former girlfriend to death in November 2018 has been sentenced to life imprisonment.
Ellias Modiselle, who is from Krugersdorp, was also sentenced in the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Monday to an additional four years in prison for contravening a protection order.
According to a statement by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), in October 2018, Modiselle’s former girlfriend, Belinda Legobye, successfully applied for an interim protection order against him as he was abusing and threatening to kill her.
The protection order granted by the Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court did not work, as Modiselle went to Legobye’s house armed with a knife on November 12, 2018.
“He stabbed her 24 times in the back,” NPA Gauteng spokesperson Phindi Louw-Mjonondwane said.
“One of her neighbours was alerted by the screams and ran toward the deceased’s place and on arrival saw the accused removing the knife from the neck of the deceased. She ran and immediately alerted community members who arrived to assist, but it was too late.”
During sentencing arguments, the State called the victim’s brother, Tebogo Legobye, to testify in aggravation of sentence.
He told the court about his last telephonic conversation with his sister who asked him to call the police as the accused was at her place threatening to kill her, Louw-Mjonondwane said.
“He told the court about how her children had been financially and emotionally impacted by the death of his sister.
“He also explained how their father died of a heart condition after the death of his daughter.
“Advocate Deborah Zinn, in her arguments for the harshest sentence, urged the court to consider the current pandemic of gender-based violence and intimate femicide in this country and the need to remove the accused from society, saying: ‘There is no space in society for people who disregard the law and have no respect for the right to life’.
“The acting judge condemned Modiselle’s actions, pointing out that he had disobeyed the protection order, saying his version that Legobye might have had an affair with another man did not give him the right to kill her,” Louw-Mjonondwane added.
Modiselle, who has been in custody since his arrest, did not testify in mitigation of his sentence, however, his defence team brought an application for leave to appeal which was opposed by the State and subsequently dismissed by the court.