Family of Nosicelo Mtebeni decries sentence for her killer boyfriend as being too light
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CAPE TOWN - The family of Nosicelo Mtebeni has decried the sentence imposed on their daughter’s killer boyfriend Alutha Pasile as too light, describing it as way of “bringing the murderer back to life”, while they will never see their child again.
Pasile was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment by the East London High Court on Thursday.
He was also sentenced to 10 years for defeating the ends of justice.
The sentences will run concurrently, said Judge Thami Beshe.
Pasile murdered and dismembered the body of the University of Fort Hare’s law student in Quigney, East London, in August.
He cut her body into seven parts, stored it for three days in the room they were sharing, before putting Mtebeni’s torso into a suitcase in a bid to dispose of it.
He had stabbed Mtebeni and went to the internet to research how a human body can be dismembered. He then smoked tik (methamphetamine) before performing the heinous act. Pasile believed that Mtebeni had been cheating on him after coming across messages saying “I love you” and ‘I miss you“.
It emerged in court on Thursday that Pasile had sent the messages to Mtebeni.
Nomonde Stamper, a social worker who examined Pasile, told the court that he loved watching horror movies, especially those with snakes, war and attacks.
Stamper said upon interrogating Pasile, on his suspicion that Mtebeni was cheating on him, the mechanical engineering graduate told her that the two messages he saw on Mtebeni’s cell phone, which prompted the August argument, were in fact the messages he had sent her in 2019.
Stamper said Pasile told her that he was having visions of Mtebeni coming to him, while in custody.
In some instances, said Stamper, Pasile would see Mtebeni coming to him wearing a red dress and when she was closer, Mtebeni’s head would fall away. This was haunting him, said Stamper.
Pasile had attempted to commit suicide twice while in custody, said Stamper.
Pasile’s defence lawyer, Ncumisa Dyantyi from the Legal Aid, told the court that the sentence not exceeding 20 years, was appropriate for her client.
Dyantyi said Pasile had no previous convictions and was “well mannered and humble”.
“When the offence was committed the accused did not have direct intentions of killing the deceased. When this incident occurred, it started as a confrontation. (There is) No evidence that the accused was abusive towards the deceased,” Dyantyi said.
During the mitigation proceedings, Senior State Advocate, Nickie Turner, argued for life imprisonment of Pasile.
“The deceased had been intimate with the accused, yet in his own self interest and in order to avoid taking responsibility for murder, he was quite prepared to mutilate her body.
“If one considers the brutality of the murder itself and the accused’s attitude towards the body of the deceased in the aftermath (of the incident), I submit that this court will sentence the accused to life imprisonment,” said Turner.
Judge Beshe said while the sentences were aimed at protecting society against criminals, they were also aimed at rehabilitating the offenders.
She said the nature of the crime, the interest of society and the offender were taken into consideration during the sentence proceedings. She described Pasile’s gruesome act as “reminiscent of a horror movie”.
“There is no showing that the accused is remorseful. The accused showed a complete disregard for the rights of others. Even in death, he had no respect for the deceased,” said Judge Beshe.
She described Mtebeni as the person who was driven by ambitions to further her studies to masters after graduating. “A person who loved nature and agriculture,” said Beshe. She was also assisting her father with farming, it emerged in court.
Reacting to the sentencing, Mtebeni’s father, Kholisile Mtebeni, said the sentence was too light.
“It’s painful. We were hoping for a life sentence. How can you chop someone’s body into parts and be given such a light sentence?” asked Kholisile.
“This person is a murderer and with this sentence he will come back to life while we will never see our child again,” said Kholisile.