A 26-year-old woman, Dieketseng Sello, was sentenced to 13 years of direct imprisonment for the murder of her boyfriend, Isaac Molai Moleko,31, in South Africa.
Sello was sentenced by the Pretoria High Court sitting in Palm Ridge on Thursday, August 31, 2023. The court deemed her unfit to possess a firearm.
The court heard that on the evening of 18 June 2021, the deceased (also known as Skills or Lai Lai) went with another female to a home he shared with Sello in Kotshong.
While inside the house, a fight broke out between Sello and the deceased. After the fight, the deceased accompanied the other female home. Upon his return, the fight resumed between the two.
During the fight, Sello stabbed the deceased several times. She then asked the neighbours to take the deceased to the nearby clinic where he was declared dead on arrival. The neighbours called the police, and Sello was arrested on the scene.
In court, Sello pleaded guilty to the charge preferred against her and asked the court through her legal representative to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence as she has 4 minor children to take care of and is remorseful of her action.
However, during the sentencing proceedings advocate Micheal Shivuri brought to the attention of the court that while released on bail on this matter Sello was convicted and sentenced to 6 months imprisonment for theft in February 2023, further while she was being transported back to Sun City prison from attending court she escaped and was later arrested and sentenced to 1-year direct imprisonment.
Furthermore, Shivuri told the court that Sello showed no remorse for her actions and that according to the pre-sentence report compiled by the social worker, it was not the first time Sello assaulted the deceased.
Moreover, Sello robbed her children of a father figure, and the same children will have to grow up without both parents and therefore he asked the court to hand down a sentence that fits the crime.
When handing down the sentence, Judge Mlotswa agreed with the state that Sello showed no remorse because instead of apologizing to the family of the deceased she moved on with her life, stayed with another man, and gave birth to more children.
Her actions were very cold and heartless, and they showed how emotionally unaffected she was because she referred to the deceased as a dog, Mlotswa said.
Furthermore, he said the children were traumatized by her actions which resulted in her depriving them of a father.
“Lastly, the offense Sello committed was very serious and prevalent in our country. As such, society expects courts to pass sentences to deter such criminals. Therefore, it is the duty of the court to send a message that such crimes will not be tolerated,” the judge added.
The toxic relationship between the deceased and Sello started in 2016 and was apparently “on-off” from there. She had, according to his family, stabbed him before.
“In July 2019 she hit him over the head with a beer bottle and in November the same year, she stabbed him with a broken beer bottle. He was admitted to hospital and the family opened a case. A day later the SAPS fetched Lai Lai and asked that he accompany them. He came back and just said that the charges had been dropped,” the deceased’s father said.