A South African man this week was sentenced to two consecutive life terms after he was convicted of the murder and rape of his 92-year-old grandmother.
Sipho Oupa Kubeka, 38, allegedly raped and strangled to death his grandmother, Kozaphi Elizabeth Kubeka, on September 4, 2011, and on Wednesday a year after the crime a Judge Selby Bagwa in a Pretoria High Court handed down the sentence.
The presiding judge lamented the vicious attacks on senior citizens and said there is a need to protect them.
“The most prized possessions of any human being are human life and human dignity,” the judge said, adding that it “ought to be treated as sacrosanct, in line with our Constitution.”
Kubeka has offered no explanation as to why he raped and murdered his grandmother who he was living with at the time. He confessed to going into her room on the day of the murder where he found her sleeping on the floor. He picked her up and laid her on the bed where he choked her to death and then raped her. He pulled a blanket over her corpse.
“The deceased was a defenceless, 92-year-old woman who was sleeping peacefully.
“She was raped and killed in the sanctity of her own home, a place where she was entitled to feel secure,” said Baqwa.
“Yet she was cannibalised by her own flesh and blood right there.
“This was clearly a vicious rape which is confirmed even by the accused in his statement when he said, ‘I went to my room to take off the trousers and shirt (I was wearing) because there were blood stains on them’.”
Kubeka’s aunt and the deceased’s daughter, Annah Sibiya, told the court that the deceased had complained about Kubeka’s behavior in the months before the crime.
Sibiya said her mother had said on several occasions that if she was found dead, then the guilty party must be Kubeka.
She said the convicted had even made death threats toward the deceased. The accused was further condemned by his younger sister, 24-year-old Zama Motha, who said her brother deserved the punishment handed down to him by the court.
“I am not happy about what he did. He was never like this. He changed and people started to fear him, even before the murder,” she said.
“My grandmother loved him the same way she loved all her grandchildren. I will always wonder what could have gone so terribly wrong.”