The High Court in Pretoria, South Africa has found a woman, Onthantile Sebati, guilty of being behind the gruesome murders of her parents, and two siblings in 2016.
Onthantile, who was 15 years old at the time of the crime, paid her two cousins, Tumelo Mokone and Kagiso Mokone, R50,000 each from monies she received as payouts following her family members' deaths.
The trio, who appeared in Court on Wednesday, January 24, 2024, were charged with murder, theft, robbery with aggravating circumstances, and possession of a firearm and ammunition.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson in Gauteng Division, Pretoria, Lumka Mahanjana, in a statement on Thursday, January 25, said Onthantile conspired with her co-accused to kill her police officer father, nurse mother, as well as her 19-year-old pregnant sister and six-year-old brother.
“The Pretoria High Court found three accused Tumelo Mokone (24), Kagiso Mokone (24), and Onthantile Sebati (21,) guilty of four counts of murder, theft, robbery with aggravating circumstances, possession of a firearm and possession of ammunition,” the statement read.
"This is after the state was able to adduce evidence, that Sebati conspired with her two male friends to kill her family members while the family was at their home in Mmakau, in the Northwest Province.
"During the day on 06 December 2016, the two went to Sebati's house to collect her father’s firearm. In the evening of that same day, they returned to the house.
"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 Sebatis 42-year-old father, a 40-year-old mother, a 19-year-old pregnant sister and her 6-year-old brother.
"The two then drove off in the vehicle belonging to Sebati’s father. However, they abandoned the vehicle after it got stuck in the mud a few meters away from the house.
"On 17 December 2021, Sepati handed herself to the police and made a confession which led to the arrest of Tumelo and Kagiso on 18 December 2021.
"After their arrest the two also made confessions to the police, stating the role they each played the night Sebati’s family was killed.
"However, during the trial, they all pleaded not guilty to the charges and disputed the confessions. After the trial within a trial, the judge ruled that the confessions were admissible.
"Prosecutor Advocate Eric Sihlangu then led evidence that indeed Sepati 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.
"During the judgment, the judge agreed with the state that it had overwhelming evidence against the three and 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 matter was postponed to 16-19 April 2024, for sentencing proceedings.”