A South African teenager identified as Phumzile Mabope, was on Friday found guilty of raping and murdering a 95-year-old woman in Uitenhage at the Port Elizabeth High Court.

Mabope and his victim

It was revealed in court that on 23 February 2017, 19-year-old Phumzile Mabope scaled a face brick wall in order to steal avocados from a tree on the Luyt Street property. He then noticed the door to the home was open.

As he made his way inside the home and began looking for items to steal, he ransacked the bedroom and moved onto the kitchen.

While Mabope was going through items to steal,  95-year-old Maria Vermaak returned home from where she was.

According to prosecutors, he was disturbed by a noise and chose to hide under a bed. Later, he returned to the kitchen for a second time and proceeded to raid the cupboards.

The South African teenager told the court; “As i opened her food cupboards, she [Vermaak] again returned to the house. She opened the door to a room when i unlawfully and intentionally assaulted her by grabbing her around the neck and strangled her with my hands.”

The convict who reportedly proceeded to strangle the 95-year-old woman with a telephone cord, then left the property to continue his crime spree elsewhere.

However, few hours later, he returned to devolve into something far more sinister. Mabope said at his hearing. “I thought that she was dead. My intention was to have sex with a corpse.”

appearing in court

However referencing a post-mortem report, Judge Chetty argued that Vermaak was still alive when sexually assaulted by Mabope, saying: “I am satisfied that the deceased was‚ to the knowledge of the accused‚ alive when he raped her and that his denial to the contrary can summarily be rejected.”

Chetty convicted Mabope on 12 charges‚ including seven counts of house robbery with intent to steal‚ robbery‚ rape and murder‚ among others.

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