Murderer behind bars

The Northern Cape High Court showed no mercy in putting Thapelo Robert Neels (21) behind bars for 18 years, for assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm (GBH) and murder.

Neels has been convicted and removed from society. He was sentenced on Thursday, 16 August, to three years’ impri­sonment for assault GBH and 15 years for murder.

The sentences shall not run concurrently.

The case dates back to 5 October 2017 when Neels went on a rampage and stabbed Ohentse Tonyane (35) and Xolisile Mbalo (31) with a broken bottle, fatally wounding Mbalo.

He fled the scene, but was arrested while hiding in a shack near Phuthanang in Galeshewe.

The Northern Cape High Court learned during witness testimony that on the night of the execution of the crime the convict had vowed to kill somebody.

Acting judge Vernon Smith highlighted how Neels had committed brutal crimes without showing any remorse.

“He did not want to take responsibility for his action. The deceased did nothing wrong against the convict,” said acting judge Smith.

Even though Thapelo was a first-time offender, the state considered the interest of society, and that at the end of the day justice had to be served.

“The state has a duty to safeguard communities against criminals. It is in the interest of communities to see criminals serving jail terms or removed from neighbourhoods, accounting for the crimes they had committed.”

Northern Cape Provincial Commissioner Lt. Risimati Shivuri lauded the court’s role in the outcome of the case.

He praised WO Lentikile Shuping for assisting the Department of Justice and the National Prosecuting Authority during investigation.