Verdict for ZCC-bust killer

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

A Mpumalanga man who was bust by a Zion Christian Church (ZCC) priest when he went to the church for a cleansing ceremony after he raped and killed a teenage girl, was yesterday sentenced to life imprisonment by the Nelspruit high court.

Trevor Sazi Mashabane, 21, of KaNyamazane near Nelspruit, was found guilty of brutally killing his 15-year-old neighbour.

Mashabane apparently broke the padlock of the victim's door and repeatedly raped her while her mouth was stuffed with a pantyhose and her arms tied with tracksuit trousers.

"He then strangled her until she died," said police spokesman Captain Phillip Fakude.

Fakude said after committing the crime, Mashabane went to the local ZCC where he confessed to a priest and asked the church to perform a cleansing ceremony on him so that he could not be traced.

The priest pretended to go along with Mashabane's idea and asked him to return later, with a promise that he would arrange for priests from Moria to be present.

After Mashabane's departure, the priest reported the matter to the police, who arrested him when he returned to the church.

Mashabane was found guilty of burglary, rape and murder.

He was sentenced to five years for burglary, 20 for rape and life imprisonment for murder.

The ZCC welcomed the sentence, saying this was a clear message to criminals that the church would not cover up criminal acts. Church spokesman the Reverend Emmanuel Motolla said the incident also confirms Bishop Lekganyane's message that the church was not a sanctuary for criminals.