Six members, aged between 17 and 23 years old and believed to be part of a gang known as BTK (Born to kill), have been sentenced by the Bloemfontein Magistrates’ court for murder, rape, attempted murder, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and robbery.
The police report that on Sunday 20 August 2017, at about 04:30, a couple were asleep in their home in Bergman when a group of males who called themselves BTK gang members violently forced their way into their home. The suspects hit the 27-year-old husband with a hammer and stabbed him over the eye. They then allegedly proceeded to take turns and rape his 29-year-old wife.
The suspects then fled the scene and while in the street about two houses away from the first scene. They met with 24-year-old Phillip Santho whom they stabbed more than 30 times all over his body. Santho died at the scene.
Following investigations the seven suspects were arrested and charged, but one was acquitted of all crimes. The remaining six were sentenced as follows:
- Lebohang Peter Phama (17) was sentenced to 12 years for Murder and 3 years for POCA
- Prince Thabiso Isaac (23) was sentenced to 14 years for murder and 3 years for POCA
- Obakeng Itumeleng Meko (24) was sentenced to 12 months for assault GBH, 10 years for robbery, 16 years for murder and 3 years for POCA
- Joseph Raputsoe Mosoka (20) was sentenced to 12 years for murder
- Mahlomola Moses Mefane (18) was sentenced to 12 years for murder and 3 years for POCA
- Thabo Joseph Ntlathi (23) was sentenced to 4 years for attempted murder, 10 years for robbery, 12 years for rape, 12 months for assault GBH, 10 years for robbery, 18 years for murder and 3 years for POCA
“This must serve as a warning to all those who are in gangs or are busy with gang activities that they will never escape the long arm of the law. It is also an assurance to our communities that as the South African Police Service we mean business when dealing with gang activities in this province,” said Free State SAPS Acting Provincial Commissioner Major General Solly Lesia.