The Mogwase Regional Court sentenced Joel Lempaletse Moatshe (41), to life imprisonment for attempting to kill his girlfriend. He was sentenced to a further 5 years, for assault and was declared unfit to possess a firearm. Moatshe’s conviction emanates from an incident that occurred in the early hours of 16 August 2022, wherein he assaulted his 26-year-old girlfriend with open hands and fled afterwards. Neighbours and other members of the community gathered after hearing her scream and went after the accused at his workplace where they conducted a citizen’s arrest and handed him over to the authorities, a case of assault was registered. He was granted bail, and a protection order was granted against him.

On 12 October 2024, he met his girlfriend while she was on her way to work and he subsequently attacked her with a knife, stabbing her several times on her stomach, leaving it exposed, and also on her hand and back. She screamed for help and her colleagues came to her rescue, leading the accused to flee the scene. She was immediately rushed to a medical facility to receive medical attention. The accused was later rearrested and the court denied him bail. He pleaded not guilty to all charges levelled against him.

In aggravation of sentence, the state prosecutor, Sicelo Moselakgomo, argued that the merits of the case are legislated for life imprisonment to be imposed, as the accused attempted to murder someone he was in a relationship with. He further highlighted the trauma suffered by the victim during and post the ordeal. Magistrate Lebogang Raborife agreed with the state and remarked on the remorseless posture displayed by the accused. She further described him as being disrespectful to the victim and the legal system.

The Director of Public of Public Prosecutions in the North West, Dr Rachel Makhari, lauded the prosecutor, Warrant Officer Sandstone Molefe from the South African Police Service (SAPS), Mpho Ramoloto who is the Court Preparation Officer and other role players who ensured that justice is served. She urges society to unite in the fight against against gender-based violence and femicide.

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