School principal guilty of murder

The pair had been charged with stock theft. Photo: Supplied

An Mpumalanga primary school principal was jailed for in effect 12 years on Monday for murdering her former gardener on suspicion of stealing money and jewellery from her house.

The Mmabatho High Court, sitting in the Temba Magistrate’s Court, in Hammanskraal. had found Pinky Magalefa, 56, guilty of kidnapping and intentionally murdering Johannes Moseta, who was also her neighbour, in 2010, a Sapa correspondent reported.

Magalefa was the headmistress of Nkotolane Primary school in Mmametlhake village near KwaMhlanga. “After returning from work, Magalefa realised that her house had been broken into and that jewellery and R800 in cash had been stolen,” Mmametlhake police spokesman Sergeant Hastings Chaane told African Eye News Service on Monday.

“She insisted that the deceased [Moseta] had a hand in the break-in and hired three young men to search for him.” Chaane said the three men found Moseta in Pretoria, about 80km from the village.

“They bound his hands and feet together with a rope and drove with him back to Mmametlhake. There, with an instruction of Magalefa, they took him to the bushes and beat him to a pulp.”

Chaane said police arrived to find Moseta’s motionless body in a pool of blood. “We rushed him to the local hospital, but he was certified dead on arrival at the facility,” said Chaane.

In handing down judgment, Judge Festus Gura said it was clear Magalefa had intended to kill Moseta.

He found the three men Magalefa hired to search for Moseta were not guilty, and said there was no evidence that they were involved in the murder.

The judge sentenced Magalefa to 12 years for murder and three years for kidnapping. The sentences would run concurrently.


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