The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) welcomed the lengthy jail term handed down to a man found guilty of the brutal rape and murder of former school receptionist Corrienne Tesner in Secunda.
NPA Mpumalanga spokesperson Monica Nyuswa said Taelo Stephen Mathabathaba, 33, was sentenced to two life terms and 23 years’ direct imprisonment by the Mpumalanga High Court sitting in Delmas.
Tesner was at her home in Secunda on 23 February 2019 when Mathabathaba broke in.
In his statement to the court, he said he dragged the 63-year-old woman to her bedroom and raped her.
However, as he was leaving the house, Tesner tried to get up. He grabbed her and stabbed her 31 times.
Tesner died, and in an effort to conceal his DNA, he smeared her blood on her private parts. He left the scene with her car, laptop, sound system and a television set.
The Ridge Times reported he was eventually arrested after he broke into another house, and was linked to Tesner’s murder by a persistent detective. He had previously been convicted of house breaking and robbery.
Sergeant Bongani Mabaso told the publication he made the connection after going through the records of Tesner’s stolen cellphone.
He had checked up on one number, pretending it was a wrong number and had noted that a “Taefo” had answered.
While checking Mathabathaba’s address for his bail application in the housebreaking case, a man at Mathabatha’s house referred to him by his African name Taefo.
It was then that the sergeant realised there was a possible connection between the housebreaking and Tesner’s murder.
After the sentencing in October, Mabaso was reported as saying the brutality of the case haunted him.
The NPA said prosecutor Lawrence Motheogane heard from Tesner’s daughter, Anna, that the family was still traumatised by the way she was killed.
Mathabathaba was sentenced to:
- Five years’ imprisonment for housebreaking with intent to steal and theft;
- Life imprisonment for rape;
- Life imprisonment for murder;
- 15 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances;
- Three years for assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.
The court ordered that the sentences for some of the charges run concurrently with the life sentence .