Delight in death

Christinah Motlhabane

Mixed emotions as killer dad sentenced to hang

Anguished sobs echoed across one side of the tense courtroom, while on the other, an audible sigh of relief escaped as a deep, booming voice uttered the words, “You shall hang by the neck until you die, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

These were the powerful cocktail of mixed emotions that swirled through Francistown High Court on Thursday morning as convicted child killer and rapist, Keolopile Makhura was sentenced to death.

It was all too much to bear for one of Makhura’s loved ones, who collapsed in a heap at hearing the condemned man’s fate.

The 38-year-old will pay the ultimate price for taking the life of his stepdaughter, Bame Tebelelo, 14, who he strangled to death after raping her on the morning of 23 September 2019.

- Advertisement -
Delight in death
MURDERED: Bame Tebelelo

In an attempt to cover his deeds, the Shashemooke man dumped the teenager in an abandoned old mud hut in Setambule ward, hiding her body under a tattered, stained mattress.

Bame, who is said to have loved Makhura like a father, was found later that same day; her mother has been living in hell ever since.

Nearly four years later and Chenesani Tebelelo finally found cause to smile again, taking solace in the thought that her daughter’s killer is a dead man walking.

The 38-year-old has no room for any sympathy towards the pain of Makhura’s grieving relatives, many of whom wept openly as they consoled the killer.

“Let them feel what I felt when he killed my daughter. Today I will have a beautiful sleep. Keolopile robbed me of my peace in 2019 and I have been praying for this day to come. Let him hang and follow my daughter,” declares Chenesani, her voice full of fierce, unrelenting passion.

- Advertisement -

Her brother, Bame’s uncle, Bonane Kubee, feels the same.

“I loved my niece so much and her death left me empty. I heard the judge saying the killer is going to hang, so let him hang until he dies.

“My niece was killed at a young age when we were expecting a lot from her. Who rapes a 14-year-old girl and to make matters worse, kills her? The judge delivered a perfect sentence according to me, let my niece continue to rest in peace,” Kubee closed.

- Advertisement -

Earlier, in his desperation to escape the hangman’s rope, Makhura told court he was intoxicated and had smoked a lot of marijuana before committing the offence.

He maintained he was not in his right mind and did not understand what he was doing.

It was an excuse Judge Lot Moroko dismissed as an afterthought.

“You committed the offence knowing full well what you were doing. You had the conscious of waking up the child, making sure you did not make noise. When giving a confession statement you told the magistrate you were afraid after raping the child and killed her. You did not say you were drunk,” noted the Judge, before handing down the death penalty.

Makhura, who met the news with wet, nervous eyes, has 14 days to appeal the sentence.

Delight in death
CRIME SCENE: The house where Bame\’s body was dumped
Leave a comment