Man jailed for stabbing ex-girlfriend 24 times, despite her having a protection order against him

30 September 2019 - 16:16
By Ernest Mabuza
Ellias Modiselle was sentenced to life imprisonment for killing his ex-girlfriend Belinda Legobye.
Image: Ellias Modiselle was sentenced to life imprisonment for killing his ex-girlfriend Belinda Legobye.

A Krugersdorp man who stabbed his ex-girlfriend to death in November last year was sentenced to life imprisonment in the Johannesburg high court on Monday.

The sentence was handed down by acting judge David Mhango.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said Ellias Modiselle, 43, had been in custody since the murder of Belinda Legobye. On top of the life term, Modiselle was also sentenced to an additional four years after being found guilty of contravening the Domestic Violence Act.

The NPA said that in October 2018, Legobye successfully applied for an interim protection order at the Krugersdorp magistrate’s court against Modiselle, who was abusing her and threatening to kill her.

However, on November 12 last year, Modiselle contravened the protection order and went to Legobye’s house armed with a knife. He stabbed her 24 times.

One of her neighbours was alerted by the screams and ran towards her home. She saw Modiselle removing the knife from Legobye's neck. Legobye died on the scene.

Modiselle had no previous criminal record and did not testify in mitigation of his sentence.

In aggravation of sentence, the prosecution called the deceased’s brother, Tebogo Legobye, who told the court how her children had been financially and emotionally affected by the death of his sister. He also explained how their father died of a heart condition after the death of his daughter.

Prosecutor Deborah Zinn, in her arguments for the harshest sentence, urged the court to consider the current pandemic of gender-based violence and intimate femicide in the country.

After the passing of sentence, Modiselle's lawyer brought an application for leave to appeal which was opposed by the state and dismissed by the acting judge.