Life in jail for murdering driver, selling vehicle

Former taxi owner Moeletsi Tsoho has been sentenced to life imprisonment.
Former taxi owner Moeletsi Tsoho has been sentenced to life imprisonment.
Image: File/ Muntu Vilakazi

Former taxi owner Moeletsi Tsoho has been sentenced to life imprisonment by the Mthatha high court.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Luxolo Tyali said Tsoho had been convicted of murdering a taxi driver and selling his minibus in Lesotho.

Judge Mbulelo Jolwana on Friday also sentenced Tsoho to 11 years in jail on a count of robbery with aggravating circumstances.

The sentences were ordered to run concurrently.

Jolwana said the court heard that in May 2016 Tsoho, of Tsolobeng village in Mount Fletcher, went to Lesotho to sell a Toyota Quantum minibus.

“The minibus belonged to another taxi operator who was unable to pay instalments and the bank was about to repossess it. When they succeeded in that unlawful sale, Tsoho got more ‘orders’ from his cousin, who is a Lesotho national,’’ said Tyali.

A month later, on June 13, Tsoho lured a taxi driver, who was driving a minibus belonging to his employer, to his house where he plied him with alcohol and offered him a bedroom to sleep in.

“When he was deep in his alcohol-induced sleep, Tsoho bludgeoned him to death with a knobkerrie,” said Tyali.

“He later got an accomplice to assist him with disposing of the body in a culvert at Coldstream Farm in Maclear, 50km away, where it was discovered days later.

“Together with the accomplice, who became the state witness, Tsoho drove the minibus taken from the deceased to Lesotho, where they sold it with the assistance of Tsoho’s cousin.”

The minibus was later recovered by police in Lesotho.

Jolwana said Tsoho had shown no remorse, maintaining his innocence “through sheer craftiness until the whole facade of innocence and ignorance unravelled under relentless cross-examination by state counsel [Luvuyo] Pomolo”.

“Other criminals involved are walking freely, roaming the streets with a real potential to commit further crimes,” added Jolwana.

 lulamilef@dispatch.co.za

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