South Africa News

Murdered cop’s last plea before his wife and young boyfriend opened fire

The High Court in Polokwane has sentenced a widow, Tubake Sister Maesela, 44, and her boyfriend Mmamoraba Jacob Mashiba, 41, for the brutal murder of Maesela’s husband, Warrant Officer Mogokolodi Cleopass Digama, 53.

The court convicted the love-birds Maesela and Mashiba for the March 2021 brutal murder of Digama, a warrant officer based at the Apel police station in Limpopo.

Spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in Limpopo, Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi said on the fateful day, Digama was shot, and robbed of his South African Police Service (SAPS) pistol and vehicle while he was at his Somalian friend’s tuckshop.

“Investigations revealed that the deceased was shot dead with an unknown pistol at Lerajane village, Mohlaletsi in the Sekhukhune district and his vehicle was set alight,” said Malabi-Dzhangi.

Police kicked off their investigations which led them to the grieving widow of the murdered police officer, and her young lover.

“The deceased’s wife (Maesela) shared a love child with her co-accused lover (Mashiba). Investigations further revealed that prior attempts of poisoning the deceased had been made by his wife,” according to Malabi-Dzhangi.

In aggravation of sentence, senior State advocate Lerato Mohlaka argued that the court should not deviate from the prescribed sentence for such heinous crimes.

She further submitted to the court that the murder of Warrant Officer Digama was “senseless, premeditated, and callous”.

“The accused persons had no sense of remorse for their actions. The accused persons had further approached a traditional healer for cleansing and had continued their lawless spree by bribing some witnesses with an amount of R46,350 in order to conceal the death of the deceased,” Mohlaka told the court.

The court also heard that seconds before he was murdered, Digama uttered the words: “My love (referring to his wife Maesela), are you the one who is killing me” before the wife pulled the trigger three times, at point blank range, shooting the police officer in the forehead.

In sentencing to two love-birds, acting Judge Ephraim Makgoba sentenced the widow Maesela and her boyfriend Mashiba to life imprisonment for the count of murder, five years for unlawful possession firearm, and three years imprisonment for unlawful possession of ammunition.

The court ordered that the sentences should run concurrently.

Meanwhile, the director of public prosecutions in Limpopo, advocate Ivy Thenga has saluted the prosecution team and the police investigating officers for thorough investigations which led to a successful prosecution.

On Friday, IOL reported that Police Minister Bheki Cele has expressed concern about the spike in the murder rate in the country, with 7,710 people murdered between October and December last year.

Cele said this was an increase of 2.1% compared to the same period last year.

-IOL

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