The life of a 31-year-old man accused of killing his girlfriend will be in danger if he is released on bail, the Bafokeng Magistrate’s Court in Tlhabane heard on Wednesday.
Prosecutor Tebogo Letlhabane told the court that the state was opposing bail because Thabo Moabi’s life could be in danger as the community in Tlaseng was enraged. The court also heard that he could conceal evidence.
Moabi is accused of killing his live-in-lover Segametsi Molefe in Tlaseng on March 27.
Testifying in his bail application, Moabi said he arrived home at about 10pm on March 26 from work. He told the court Segametsi was not home and their five-year-old daughter was alone, sleeping on a sofa. Segametsi arrived home after he had made a telephone call inquiring where she was.
On arrival, her cellphone rang and he heard a man asking whether she arrived home safely and told her he loved her.
“I slapped her, she produced a knife and I pushed her against the wall, she fell and I went outside,” Moabi testified.
He told the court the reason he slapped her was because he was heartbroken when he heard another man declaring his undying love for his girlfriend.
Moments later he returned to the house and found Segametsi lying on the spot she had fell, he said.
“I thought she was unconscious, I put a blanket around her and place her next to the bed,” he said.
He denied that he had hidden her body underneath the bed.
In the morning he realised she was dead and when he went outside to buy prepaid airtime and seek help, he met the police and was arrested.
Moabi told the court he was the sole provider for his three siblings and his daughter, and that he was employed as an engineer assistant at a mine earning R6,000 per month. He inherited his mother’s house and had property valued at R50,000.
He further testified that he did not have any convictions or pending cases against him and that he would abide by any conditions the court would impose should he be granted bail.
Asked how he managed to hear the conversation between his girlfriend and the caller, he replied that the cellphone was on its speaker setting and that is how he was able to hear that his girlfriend was speaking to another man.
Testifying for the state, Constable Meshack Modisane, the investigating officer in the case, said the police received a tip-off about the murder and that the perpetrator intend to conceal evidence.
“We found a lady braiding another lady’s hair outside, we asked her the whereabouts of the suspect [Moabi] and she said he went to work. We told her we want to search the house and she lead us to the house.
“We found the suspect sitting on the bed, he was with a daughter, we asked him where the child’s mother was and he answered that he last saw her on March 26 when she informed him she was going to her parents in Phokeng,” Modisane testified.
“When we searched the room, we found a body of a woman under the bed, we asked him about it and he said it was his girlfriend Segametsi Molefe.
“She had injuries in the face and neck, and was also bleeding behind the head,” Modisane told the court.
He testified that through investigation they had established that Moabi regularly assaulted Segametsi and that she did not open a case against him because she was scared of him.
Modisane added that there were two witnesses who were afraid of making a statement to the police because they fear him.
Ofentse Raikane, for Moabi, said his client was a good candidate for bail as he was never arrested or convicted before, and no warrants of arrest were pending against him.
He argued that it would not be in the interest of justice to refuse Moabi bail.
“The applicant before court, is a breadwinner, he is employed and he takes care of his three siblings and his five-year-old daughter. Let us secure his employment,” Raikane said.
The bail hearing was postponed to April 26 for Magistrate Andrew Mmokwa to make a ruling on whether the bail application was successful or not.
– African News Agency (ANA)