Themba Thobane pleads guilty to murder of Gabisile Shabane

He was charged with her kidnapping and subsequent murder which resulted in her body parts taken away, allegedly for muthi.


One of the four men accused of killing 13-year-old Gabisile Shabane last year January, Themba Thobane, has pleaded guilty, admitting to the Mpumalanga high court that he was guilty as charged.

The other three, Thokozani Msibi, Knowledge Mhlanga and Brilliant Mkhize pleaded not guilty to the cruel killing of the eMalahlen teenager living with Albinism, as well as her nephew, 1-year-old Nkosikhona on the Sunday night of 28 January 2018.

The state has now separated the case – with Thobane, the man who pleaded guilty Monday mid-day 20 August 2019, waiting for his sentence. The three will return to court in May 2020 to prove to the court they never played any part in the killing Gabisile when their trial begins at the high court sitting in Middelburg.

They face a string of charges, kidnapping with the “intent to commit murder” and pointing anything “that makes another person believes it’s a firearm”.

ALSO SEE: Man confesses to police he used Gabisile Shabane’s body parts for muthi

Judge Segopotje Mphahlele on Monday mid-day making a ruling after Thobane has pleaded guilty said the killing of the children was “premidiated” and was “committed by a group of persons to unlawfully remove any body part”.

Themba Thobane pleads guilty to murder of Gabisile Shabane

Community members and groupings from traditional and political organisations, including the ANC, DA and EFF came to show support for the late Gabisile Shabane, the girl from the township of Hlalanikahle in the eMalahleni area who was kidnapped and gruesomely killed together with her nephew Nkosikhona for muthi

Msibi, Mhlanga and Mkhize’s trial will last from 25 May to 12 June 2020. They all remain in custody, including Thobane.

The Judge said Thobane knew “at all material times that the children were to be killed and their bodies used for muthi”.

Social development MEC Thandi Shongwe said they didn’t want anything “less than a life sentence” when sentence is handed down.

“Nothing less,” Shongwe said while addressing the marchers who had come to support Gabisile.

“This judgement should make everybody to respect the life of another person. Tomorrow when you meet a person living albinism you must know that you are meeting a person, a human being like you whose rights to live is contained exactly like yours in the Constitution,” said Shongwe.

ANC acting secretary Lindiwe Ntshalintshali also attended the case and addressed the crowds outside the Middelburg Magistrates Court.

She said they hoped the suspect who pleaded guilty will assist the rule of law to get to the bottom of the matter.

“No one should abuse another person. As ANC we are saying they must rot in jail. Gabisile and Nkosikhona cannot just die like that, they must stay in,” she said.

(edited by ZK)
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