The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on Wednesday said a 33-year-old Mpumalanga man, Taelo Stephen Mathabathaba, has been sentenced to two life terms and 23 years direct imprisonment for the rape and murder of a 63-year-old woman.

Monica Nyuswa, NPA Mpumalanga provincial spokesperson said Mathabatha was sentenced by the High Court in Mpumalanga, sitting in Delmas.

Nyuswa said “Mathabathaba pleaded guilty to the crimes and was convicted of housebreaking with intent to steal and theft, rape, murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm”.

She said in February 2019, during the night, Mathabathaba broke into a house on Hodgson Street in Secunda.

“The deceased, Corrienne Tesner was at her backroom when Mathabathaba accosted her. In his plea statement, he told the court that he dragged Tesner to the bedroom and forcefully raped her. He added that as he was leaving the house, she rose up and he grabbed her”.

“He took out a knife and stabbed her 31 times and she succumbed to her injuries. He then smeared her blood on her vagina to get rid of the DNA and fled the scene with her motor vehicle, laptop, sound system and a television set.”

In aggravation of sentence, State advocate Lawrence Motheogane, called the deceased’s daughter Anna to testify.

Nyuswa narrated that “Anna described her mother as a former receptionist at Highveld Park High School. She added that her mother was loved by many people and had a good sense of humour. She said even today they were still traumatized by the way their mother was killed”.

The high court sentenced Mathabathaba to five years imprisonment for housebreaking with intent to steal and theft, life imprisonment for rape, another life imprisonment for murder, fifteen years for robbery with aggravating circumstances and another three years for assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

Nyuswa added that “The court ordered the sentences in some counts to run concurrently with the life imprisonment sentence”.

“The NPA welcomed the conviction and sentence as it is sending a clear message that violence against women and children is seen in a very serious light by our courts.”