Transcript: 138. The ABC Killer, Moses Sithole | South Africa

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The 16th of September 1995 was a mild spring day in Johannesburg, South Africa. This city is the largest man-made urban forest in the world, boasting more than 10 Million trees. In springtime, Jacaranda trees begin to bud, adorning the city in shades of purple. Spring is also a time of hope and renewal, and in 1995, these themes were prevalent in the New South Africa.

So, when a man decided to spend his day off, hunting rabbits in the veld at Van Dyk Mine, he did not expect to be the one to make one of the most haunting discoveries in the city’s history. As he walked along a footpath, he was suddenly overcome by the smell of decomposing flesh. At first he thought it was a deceased animal, but as he tried to get away, he saw the body of a dead woman, bound and gagged.

In shock, the man tried to come with terms of what was on the ground in front of him. He looked around, hoping to see someone who could help him. As his eyes scanned the landscape, he noticed another body, then another, and another… He was standing in the middle of one of the most prolific serial killer’s dumping ground.

In the 48 hours following the discovery, police found the bodies of ten women, in varying stages of decomposition. All these victims bore the signature of the notorious ABC Killer, who had been active for just over a year.

The news of the killing field made massive waves in the media, and the community was appalled. Newly elected President Nelson Mandela cancelled an overseas commitment to visit the scene and pay his respects to the victims. He sent out a personal appeal for information that would help in apprehending the killer who had been terrorizing Gauteng’s mothers, wives and daughters.

>>Intro Music

South Africa’s first free and fair elections took place in April of 1994. For the first time in the country’s constitutional history, every South African citizen over the age of 18 was allowed to vote. Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as the country’s first black president in May of the same year. It was a time of hope and rejuvenation for the Rainbow Nation.

Despite fears that the elections would bring about violence and perhaps even war, the transition occurred peacefully. The nation had an inspirational leader who taught the entire world a lesson in diplomacy. Black people looked forward to new opportunities, as equals, and moved to the cities, chasing their dreams. Women were hopeful to find employment other than domestic or farm work. Their families encouraged them go to the city to find well-paying jobs.

But the fall of apartheid, brought about an unexpected phenomenon. A new type of criminal emerged: the South African serial killer. An article by Philip van Niekerk explains that:

“The abolishment of Apartheid simultaneously lifted the tight controls of a police state and unleashed a generation of South Africans whose childhood years had been deformed by the brutal excesses of state-sponsored racism.”

In short: the Children of Apartheid had come to age. The work of one murderer in particular caused serious concern to police. His first murders took place in Atteridgeville, not far from Pretoria. Then he moved on to Boksburg in Johannesburg’s East and as the murders increased, Cleveland. The main locations of his murders – Atteridgeville, Boksburg, Cleveland – is why he was called the ABC Killer.

His first victim was discovered in January 1995. The unidentified woman was found in a fielded area, or veld, her hands tied behind her back with her own underwear. She had been sexually assaulted and her dress was pulled up to cover her face.

And one after the other… Bodies began to show up. Because of the tell-tale similarities between the murders, police knew they were dealing with a serial killer. A bloodthirsty, insatiable one at that. As the year went on, missing persons reports flooded into police stations throughout Johannesburg’s East and Pretoria’s West. The victims were all young black women, and as weeks went by, police found one body after the next. At first, he killed once a month. Soon it was every other week, then weekly.

While police tried to make sense of the few clues they found at the scenes, the rest of the country was going wild with Rugby World Cup fever. After years of isolation, South Africa was not only allowed to play in the tournament, by they hosted it. Although in South Africa rugby was traditionally regarded as the ‘white man’s sport’, for once, the entire nation was backing the boys in green. When they miraculously won, everyone was united. As Francois Pienaar lifted the Web Ellis cup, everyone took to the streets and celebrated – together, as one nation, regardless of colour, for the first time.

But to investigators working on the ABC case, euphoria was short-lived. By September 1995, the rate of murders increased to two a week. As the killer gained in experience, his confidence grew, and he became more reckless and daring. One victim had her two-year-old son with her. The boy was struck over the head and left to die from exposure, yards away from his mother’s mutilated body.

After a while, the killer stepped up his reign of terror yet again. He phoned his victims’ families and taunted them, for no reason other than the thrill of it. He told one victim’s grandmother that she had walked over her granddaughter’s grave.

When ten bodies were found at Van Dyk Mine in September, the urgency of the case could no longer be ignored. Hunting the ABC Killer became a matter of national interest. President Nelson Mandela cancelled an overseas state visit to visit the veld Boksburg, where he paid his respects. In a press conference he addressed the public, and personally appealed for their help in catching the killer.

Police were at a loss, they had no idea who the person was, picking innocent women up and killing them. A task force was established within the Pretoria Murder and Robbery Unit. It was time to go back to the drawing boards and look at the information they had.

The victims were all black women, between 19 and 43 years old. They were sexually assaulted before they were strangled, usually with their own stockings or underwear. Many victims had their hands tied behind their backs. Sometimes he doodled the word ‘bitch’ on their bodies, by scratching it into their skin. He covered their faces with a piece of clothing to prevent them from looking at him. Police had DNA evidence, but no suspects to compare it to.

Although many victims bore variations of the same signature, investigators knew better than to conclude that it was the work of one, lone killer. They reached out to criminal profiler, Miki Pistorius, who called in the help of retired FBI agent Robert Ressler. Ressler needs no introduction: Mindhunter’s lead character, special Agent Bill Tench, was inspired by him.

Ressler’s profile of the ABC Killer shone some light onto the issue. He concluded that the killer was an ‘intelligent, organised individual with a high sex drive’ and that he ‘had a growing sense of confidence and could likely have the help of a second killer.’ It would later be revealed that there was at least one other serial killer active in the same area at the time, but that they did not work together, however.

With the help of forensic testing, police were able to put together a chronological timeline of the murders, supporting the theory that the new bodies were victims of only one killer; one who evolved as he grew more confident. On one occasion police found a body, processed the crime scene, and two days later, another body was discovered at the exact same location.

Who was this man and how did he convince the young ladies to walk into the veld with him? Family members and friends of the murder victims, all gave similar accounts of the victims’ last days alive. A pattern emerged, in which all of the victims went for job interviews before they disappeared. They met up with their new employer and was never heard from or seen alive again. The man used aliases when contacting his victims and had as many as six names he used in rotation, names like Sylvester, Moses, Joseph…

The killer did not rush into his murders either. Once he met a potential victim, he mentioned the possibility of a job. If she was keen, he scheduled an appointment; usually a casual interview over lunch, during which they discussed the job. He typically told the women to think about it and then set up yet another appointment. By this time the women trusted the well-dressed businessman and when he suggested they take a short walk to his offices, they complied. As soon as they were in an isolated area, he struck without being seen.

In August 1995, police finally received the break they so desperately needed. One of the ABC killer’s victims, Amelia Rapodile was last seen on 17 July 1995 leaving with a man for a job interview. Investigators found an application form for a clerical job at an organisation called, ‘Youth Against Human Abuse’. Police could not find any record of such an organisation. It was a shell company, probably created to deceive his victims.

When they learnt about yet another missing woman, police went to a children’s home in the East Rand where she worked. Tryphena Mogotsi’s co-workers told police that a well-dressed businessman, who worked for a social services organisation had visited the home with a photographer. He told Tryphena about his job and she was very impressed. During their tour of the home, he asked her how much she earned. She told him and he acted appalled. He said that if she were to work for him, he’d pay her much more.

The man returned a couple of days later and Tryphena had hoped he would bring up the issue of employment again. When he handed her an application form, Tryphena felt like she had won the lottery. She was going to work for a social services organisation, doing what she loved and earn more money. As she was the breadwinner of her household, this meant everything to her.

The next day, she asked colleagues to cover for her. She did not want to take a whole day’s leave, so she only planned to sneak out over lunchtime to meet with the man for an informal interview. She was so taken with him, she let slip to her colleagues that he was taking her on a lunch date. Tryphena left for her date that day, but never came back.

At first her colleagues assumed she got caught up with her new employer. When she didn’t show up the next day, they grew concerned. Still, they didn’t raise the alarm, because she had asked them to cover for her. But when her mother arrived a few days later looking for her, they realised that she never made it home.

Fortunately, her co-workers remembered the man’s name and were able to tell police that Tryphena had planned on meeting a man named Sithole before she disappeared. Although Sithole is a common name in South Africa, police hit pay dirt when they found a criminal record of a convicted rapist called Moses Sithole. They showed his mugshot to Tryphena’s co-workers at the children’s home, and they confirmed that he was the man who had promised Tryphena a job. When the killer’s dumping field was discovered in September, Tryphena Mogotsi’s remains were among them.

By the next day 31-year-old Moses Sithole’s photo was on the front page of all major newspapers throughout South Africa. He worked as a truck washer and moonlighted as youth counsellor. Sithole saw his photo on the news and by the time police showed up at his door, he had disappeared. The manhunt was on, but that did not deter the ruthless serial killer.

On the 3rd of October, the body of Agnes Mbuli was discovered in Benoni – she was without a doubt the victim of the ABC Killer. The same day Agnes’ body was found, Sithole reached out to local newspaper, The Star, and spoke to journalist, Tamsen de Beer. He told her that his name was Joseph Magwena and that he was ‘the man that is everyone is looking for’.

Tamsen thought it was a hoax at first but erred on the safe-side and transcribed their conversation. ‘Joseph’ told her that he killed women as an act of revenge. He claimed that he was falsely accused and wrongfully convicted of rape. Killing women taught them not to mess with him.

The conversations with Tamsen took place over three days. The man who called himself ‘Joseph’ revealed information only the murderer would know. He made a startling statement, claiming that police underestimated how many women he had killed. While police had found 38 bodies, the called reckoned his victim count was closer to 76.

He enjoyed revealing how he killed and tortured his victims – and found it especially intriguing to see how they all reacted to him: their killer, playing God over their fate. Tamsen was told that one of his victims knew karate, and that she put up a fantastic fight. He was excited about the challenge and had told her: you lose, you die. She lost.

Tamsen de Beer had had just about enough of his sordid conversations. She realised he did not call her because he wanted to give himself up, but rather because he wanted to know if police were catching up with him. The journalist said that she didn’t believe he was the actual killer and asked if he could prove his identity. Sithole revealed the location of an undiscovered victim, in his words:

‘A lady I don’t think the police have discovered.’

When police found the skeletal remains, but the man who called himself Joseph was not done yet. He told them about another victim, who was killed more recently. Police followed his directions and found a woman’s body, hanging from a tree in a veld. Both victims had the same signature as the others. Police knew then that Tamsen had been talking to the South Africa’s most prolific serial killer. And he was playing a diabolical cat and mouse game with police. In the ten days that followed, police discovered the bodies of three more women.

During one of his phone calls to Tamsen, Sithole’s money ran out. He gave her the number of the pay phone so she could call him back. Before she returned his call, Tamsen handed the information to police, who rushed to the pay phone that was located at a train station. But Sithole saw them coming and managed to give them the slip.

The following day, Tamsen received her last phone call from the serial killer. He shouted down the line, saying that she let him down, just like all the others. Up to this point, Tamsen had grown sympathetic towards him, seeing him as a broken man. But with this call she realised he was a monster who hated women and would stop at nothing to kill them when he felt like it.

With police were hot on Sithole’s trail, he was desperate for help. He called his brother-in-law, Maxwell Makabene, and confessed to him that he was the ABC Killer. Although he was shocked, Maxwell agreed get him a gun and they arranged to meet the next day. Sithole’s brother-in-law hung up the phone and informed police about their planned rendezvous at Maxwell’s work in Benoni on the 18th of October.

Police positioned undercover officers at the factory where Maxwell worked and waited.  Sithole showed up on time, as arranged, and when he realised he had walked into a trap, he made a run for it. Insepctor Francis Mulovhedzi called for him to stop and shot two warning shots before chasing after him. The cop followed Sithole into a dark alley, where Sithole pulled a hatched and attacked him. Mulovhedzi shot Sithole in the leg to disarm him, but the attack continued, with the suspect biting the policeman’s thumb. Mulovhedzi fired two more shots, one of which hit Sithole in the stomach and finally disabling him.

Moses Sithole was transported to a military hospital, under police custody. He received surgery because of the gunshot wounds and survived the operation. While he was in hospital, he was diagnosed with Aids.

As soon as he was released from hospital, Sithole was taken into police custody, where he confessed to the murders. His DNA was also found on all ABC Killer victims. Five days after his arrest, Sithole appeared at Brakpan Court where he was charged with 29 of the murders, and sent to Boksburg Prison, to await his trial. This was the very same prison where he had served time before.

Prosecution set out to build their case against this soft-spoken, seemingly harmless man. To gain a better understanding into him, they had to investigate his background. Moses Sithole was born on the 17th of November 1964 in Vosloorus, a township on the outskirts of Johannesburg. He was the fourth of five children of Simon and Sophie Sithole and he grew up in poverty. It was violent times and growing up in a black family in Apartheid South Africa was no picnic.

Moses was only five when his dad passed away and his mother turned her back on her children. Sophie was an alcoholic and physically abused her children when she lost her temper. In custody, he claimed that he was also sexually abused by an adult woman from the township. He never told his mother, as she was struggling to cope as a single mother with her five children. Eventually Sophie Sithole left Moses and his siblings at a local police station, from where they were sent to an orphanage.

Moses lived there for three years. Abuse was rife and Moses suffered at the hands of his abusive carers. The only thing that kept him going, was his sheer determination to reunite with his mother. He believed that he was taken away from her and did not realise she was the one who had given him up for adoption. He tried to escape from the orphanage a couple of times, but always got caught. One day he finally broke out and ran as fast as he could. After an arduous journey on foot, he finally reached his home. He was elated to see his mother and told her that he was back to stay. Instead of being happy to see her son, Sophie was furious and took Moses back to the orphanage.

When he was 11, Moses was moved to another orphanage, this time in KwaZulu Natal, almost 500km. For the first time in his life, he was away from his hometown, and again, left to the mercy of wicked officials at the children’s home.

Moses eventually ran away from the orphanage in KwaZulu Natal, and hitchhiked all the way back to Gauteng, where he lived with his older brother, Patrick. He took on odd jobs to pay his way and trained as an amateur boxer. In his late teens, he took a job at a Johannesburg goldmine for a while too. Young Moses always took a great interest in street children and tried to help them whenever he could.

Young women noticed Moses, who had a warm smile and bright eyes. He was well-spoken and intelligent, and despite his impoverished background, knew how to appreciate the finer things in life. He joined a local library where he borrowed Classical music CDs. Yet, there was always something lacking in his life. He had little love or guidance, and his hatred for women was always simmering below the surface, threatening to brim over.

In 1987, 22-year-old Moses Sithole committed his first rape. He was walking along an abandoned mine dump near Cleveland, Johannesburg with his girlfriend’s sister, Patricia Khumalo. With no forewarning, he had the urge to overpower her. He tied Patricia up and proceeded to rape her. When he was done, he pulled her clothes up over her face and left her there. Fortunately, Patricia escaped, but she was too scared to report the assault. She felt like she had seen the devil inside Sithole and did not want to provoke him again.

Sithole felt invincible and soon he struck again. His second victim did not report the rape either and he nurtured the perception that he was untouchable. Drunk on power, he found a third victim, Lindiwe Nkosi. He threatened her, saying that, if she didn’t have sex with him, he’d douse her in fuel and set her on fire. Lindiwe complied, but like Patricia and his second victim, she was too scared to report the incident.

In his mid-twenties, he was working in retail when he met Doris Swakamisa in Germiston. He lied to her and said he was a businessman who was recruiting people to work for his organisation. Doris agreed to go to his office for a formal interview and they met at Germiston Train Station. Sithole said that he knew a shortcut through the veld, and she walked with him. Once they were completely out of sight, he pulled a knife out of a folded newspaper and explained what was about to happen to her. He tied her hands behind her back, using her own underwear, and raped her. When he was done, he said that if she promised she would not report the assault, he would not kill her. Doris agreed. He left her in the veld, and a bruised and battered Doris managed to get herself home.

Despite her promise, she did report the rape. But because Sithole gave her a false name, there was no way police would ever find her rapist. Three months later, Doris spotted Sithole at a shop in the city and called police in Cleveland where she had reported the rape. Sithole was arrested and taken to the police station. Doris was transported to the police station with him, to make a formal identification. As they were driving in the police van, Sithole reportedly said to her:

“Bitch, I should have killed you.”

Sithole was charged with rape and Doris testified against him. Throughout his trial he maintained that he was innocent but did not manage to convince the judge. Sithole was sentenced to seven years and sent to Brixton Prison in Johannesburg. He was furious. In his view, Doris betrayed him. He was quick to dismiss the fact that he committed a brutal crime – his previous assaults had not been reported, what was wrong with Doris?

While he was in prison, his sister and mom died, which ignited the already-lingering anger inside of him. He was frustrated that he was in prison, and felt he was a victim of miscarriage of justice. He blamed Doris for his situation and his hatred towards women grew even stronger.

Yet, when he met Martha Ndlovu in 1993, he fell in love. He was still prison and met her when she visited a family member who was a fellow inmate of Sithole’s. Sithole wrote love letters to her and although she wasn’t interested at first, she agreed to see him when he was released.

And his release came sooner than expected. After serving only four years Moses Sithole was released early, for good behaviour. He later claimed that he was the victim of a vicious sexual assault inside the prison. Because he was a convicted rapist, the other prisoners placed him near the bottom of the food-chain, and he had no allies or to help him or protect him when he was being abused.

Free again, it looked like Moses Sithole was ready to put the past behind him and make the best of his fresh start. People were quick to trust the bright-eyed young man with the friendly smile and gentle manner. His relationship with Martha blossomed and soon, they moved in together. Her parents were initially opposed to the match, but gradually warmed to Sithole who seemed to be a caring partner for their daughter. Sithole worked with Martha’s brother, repairing cars in their parent’s yard. After being together for a year, Martha fell pregnant and couple had their baby daughter, Bridgette, in December 1994. From the outside in, it looked like Sithole finally found was he was looking for his whole life – the acceptance of a loving family.

His brother-in-law knew that Sithole did not want to fix cars for the rest of his life, so when he said he was looking for another job, there was no bad blood between them. Everyday Sithole would dress up in a suit and head into town, to look for work. He always bought a newspaper before he got onto the train and was well-informed, which made him a good conversationalist.

But Moses Sithole was not looking for work – he was scouting for victims. He used his daily newspaper to hide a knife, his weapon of choice when it came to subduing his victims. He found his first victim in 18-year-old Marina Monama. He introduced himself as Sylvester and offered her a job. Then took her into the veld to commit the first of many murders. When Marina’s body was found, a message was scratched into the skin on her leg. It said:

“I am not fighting with you. We will stay here until you understand.”

News of the ABC Killer was broadly discussed in Sithole and Martha’s neighbourhood. All the while the young father pretended to be as concerned as everyone else. He was curious to learn how the investigation was progressing, so he made an anonymous phone call, placing suspicion of the murders on his brother-in-law. His brother-in-law was taken in for questioning, but released, seeing as he was clearly NOT the killer. However, when he got home, Sithole was there to hear all about the interrogation: what police asked, what they revealed… He was the ultimate puppet master who felt that he was in control of his family, his victims, and even the police.

At the end of July 1995, Martha and Sithole had a falling out over a set of keys. He ordered her to stop shouting at him, even though she had not raised her voice. Without any further explanation, he packed his bags in and left. She didn’t hear from him for two months, until she found out that he had been arrested.

Once in custody, Sithole told police that he posed as a businessman, who ran an organisation devoted to helping abused children, called ‘Youth Against Human Abuse’. The main goal of this supposed company was to reunite orphans with their families. Sithole told his victims that he was a married man, and it disarmed them. They believed he was a virtuous well-doer with the best of intentions.

In his conversations with police, Sithole said that years of abuse in the orphanage made him a rapist and years in prison for rape made him a murderer. According to Sithole, he killed women who reminded him of the ones who had falsely accused him of rape. He showed no remorse and maintained that he killed his victims because he wanted to teach them a lesson. He felt that he had been betrayed by women since childhood, and it was time to set the record straight. He said:

“Hurt has been my daily bread. Hurt has been my prayer, every minute, every second, every day, every week, every month and every year… A woman can hurt you more than a man, more than anybody in this world.”

Sithole said that he had killed his first victim because she shouted at him when he politely asked for directions. He coldly recalled the murder:

“I cannot remember her name. I killed her and left her there. I went straight home and had a shower.”

Investigators asked Sithole if he ever worked with the ‘Cleveland Strangler’ David Selepe. Sithole denied ever meeting Selepe and investigators were unable to establish a connection between the two. In a strange twist of fate, Selepe, like Sithole, was also shot by police. But he did not survive. During a police conducted walk-though of his crime scenes in 1994, he reportedly attacked an officer in a bid to escape. The officer was exonerated after an investigation confirmed that he shot the serial killer in self-defence.

On his first day in court, Sithole arrived, covered in blood from a gushing wound on his knee. He claimed that he injured it during a fall in prison. The trial date was postponed and began three months later, in February 1997.

By this time, the prosecution was able to charge him with 38 counts of murder, 40 counts of rape and 6 counts of robbery. He pleaded not guilty and did not show much emotion in the course of the one-year trial. The only time he cried, was when Inspector Francis Mulovhedzi was called to testify how he shot Sithole in self-defence during his arrest. Sithole’s defence said that his version of events was quite different. According to the serial killer, the officer fired at him as soon as he saw him, no questions asked.

When Martha learned about the murders, she agreed to testify against her husband. She was able to identify jewellery as belonging to her husband. These items were NOT his to begin with, but trophies taken from his victims. When Sithole saw Martha and his two-year-old daughter in court, he asked if he could hold the child, but Martha refused.

The prosecution brought Sithole’s surviving rape victims to testify about their terrifying encounters with Sithole before he was set to prison in 1989. They were also able to systematically link each murder victim to Sithole, showing communication about job offers, the trophies he kept and ultimately DNA evidence. A voice expert also confirmed that the anonymous person who called Tamsen de Beer from The Star, was beyond the shadow of a doubt, Moses Sithole.

Evidence was presented, including recorded confessions to a fellow inmate. On one video, he openly admitted to 29 murders. He described exactly how he bound, tortured, raped and killed his victims. He took his time committing the murders, enjoying the thrill of omnipotence. He loved hearing his victims pleading with him NOT to kill them. If he had time, he made the most of it. He took something like the victim’s belt or the strap of a handbag to tie her to a low hanging tree branch and watched as she floated in and out of consciousness.

Sithole claimed that he chose his victims carefully. His main criterion was that they had to bear a strong resemblance to Doris Swakamisa, the woman who had pressed rape charges against him, and sent him to prison. Although he always denied raping Doris, he said, on video:

“I regret not killing the first lady who falsely accused me.”

The video recording was obtained illegally and whether it was admissible in court became a point of contention. The trial was put on hold until the end of January. In July the judge ruled the evidence admissible.

The nuts and bolts of his operation was laid bare in court. Sithole had asked a typist, Melody Stern, at Afrox where he worked as a truck washer to type and copy the application forms. At first he founded the Child Protection Community Organisation, but when Melody pointed out that it sounded too much like the police’s protection unit, he changed the name to Youth Against Human Abuse. He told Melody it was supposed to be a support group, and she did not find it suspicious.

In the case of Tryphena XX, Sithole hired a freelance photographer for a couple of hours. He said that he was looking for a children’s home for two street kids and the photographer arranged the tour of Tryphena’s workplace, never once thinking that he introduced her to her killer.

Jimmy Lepule, whose wife and mother of their two children, Mildred, was killed by Sithole, said that she was promised an office job. She was supposed to have an interview with a social worker, ‘Professor Williams’, and a man named Pheri called to set up an appointment. Mildred was over the moon and could not wait to start her new job and provide for her family. She left home and was never seen alive again.

The very same testimony was echoed by one grieving family after the other: a young woman was excited to go for an interview and never returned home.

Sithole was called to testify in his own defence. Most of his testimony in the witness box was incoherent and inaudible; he mumbled, and nothing made much sense. In August, another court session had to be cut short when Sithole started vomiting blood in the court room, claiming he had a stomach ulcer.

On the 4th of December 1997, Moses Sithole was found guilty on all charges. It took the judge three hours to read the verdict. The next day, he was sentenced to 50 years in prison for each of the 38 murders, 12 years for each 40 cases of rape and 5 years for each of 6 robberies he committed. His sentences were to run consecutively, which, if you don’t have a calculator handy, added up to 2,410 years. Judge David Carstairs ordered a non-parole period of 930 years.

Crowds cheered and ululated, relieved that the nightmare was over. Victim’s families called for capital punishment to be reinstated – they wanted to see Sithole pay with his life. The judge publicly stated that, in Sithole’s case, if he could, he would call for the death sentence to be reinstated. He also said that he would have sentenced Sithole to death without batting an eyelid.

Moses Sithole was sent to C-Max Security Prison in Pretoria, where he settled in for life. In prison, he received treatment for HIV. Sadly, his wife and child had been infected too. They did not have money for antiviral medication, and it is believed that they have both succumbed.

Sithole has been moved from C-Max to Manguang Correctional Centre in Bloemfontein. He will never see the outside of prison as long as he lives.

Moses Sithole had the intelligence, charm and guile to become the person he pretended to be. His concern for orphaned children seemed genuine, and he could have made a difference to so many lives, had he done what he set out to do. Instead of applying himself and using his resourcefulness for the better, he allowed himself to be consumed with hatred. Bitterness fuelled in him a justification to commit the most atrocious crimes thinkable.

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