Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Moses Sithole

Judgement

On Dec. 4, 1997, Mr. Justice David Curlewis found Moses Sithole guilty on 40 charges of rape, 38 charges of murder and six charges of robbery. One of his two assessors felt that Sithole should not be held accountable, but the judge and the other assessor did not agree. It took three hours to read the verdict, and the packed courtroom was not happy that sentencing would only be pronounced the next day. Relatives of the victims wanted Sithole delivered to them.

On the day that Sitholes daughter turned three, Dec. 5, Judge Curlewis sentenced him to a total of 2,410 years in prison. He got 12 years for each of the 40 rapes, 50 years for each of the 38 murders, and another five years for each of the six robberies. These sentences would not run concurrently, and the judge recommended no possibility of parole for at least 930 years. According to the Beeld of Dec. 6, 1997, the Judge Curlewis said that nothing can be said in favour of Sithole. In this case I do not take leniency into account. What Sithole did was horrible.

The judge also stated that he would have had no trouble imposing the death penalty, had it still been a viable option. He did not have the necessary faith in the prison authorities nor the parole boards to hand down life sentences. That wouldve meant that Sithole would be eligible for parole in 25 years. I want to make it clear, Judge Curlewis said, according to the CapeTimes of Dec. 5, 1997. I mean that Moses Sithole should stay in jail for the rest of his life.

Sithole, who listened to his sentence without any emotion, was taken to C-Max, the maximum security section of Pretoria Central Prison and the highest security cellblock in South Africa. Here he would live with the other 94 prisoners considered to be the most dangerous in the country, including Eugene de Kock of the old Counterinsurgence Unit. Each prisoner is allowed one hour per day outside his cell and three visits per month.

Twelve women lie in pauper graves. There are no names above their heads. No one comes to visit their graves. No one leaves flowers. Their loved ones do not know where they lie.

Sithole has AIDS, and at the time of his trial was estimated to live another five to eight years. At the time of writing, it has been seven years and his health has not waned. In fact, thanks to the excellent medical care he receives in prison, free of charge, his health is now much better than it was at the time of his trial. Like any successful weed, he flourishes despite viral attacks and ill wishes.

Still, Moses Sithole is locked away in C-Max, where he will spend the rest of his dayswith himself, his memories and his fantasies.

Its a lot more than he allowed his victims.

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