Tebogo Msimanga |
The North West High court found Joseph Phage (39), guilty of murder, following his submission of a plea statement in court. He was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder, 15 years for attempted murder and 5 years for kidnapping. Police reports reveal that on 09 June 2020, Phage went to Betty Sithole’s house, and found her knitting their baby’s hair. She then told Phage to take the child home, as she was staying with him and his grandmother.
At that time, the two were no longer staying together, as their relationship experiencing some challenges. Instead of taking the child, Phage started crying and begging Betty to forgive him and allow their love affair to continue.
Betty then refused the proposition, and Phage took out a knife and stabbed her while she was carrying their child. He was arrested on 09 August 2021. With a court date set for 04 November 2021, for attacks on Betty and her sister, on the set date, Phage escaped from the court precinct after attempting to persuade Betty to drop charges against him.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Spokesperson in North West Henry Mamothame said Police reports revealed that Phage was rearrested on Monday 07 November 2021, following an incident wherein the body of 10-year-old Kamogelo Sithole, was found inside his shack in Sonderwater informal settlement, at Ikageng near Potchefstroom.
“Phage is alleged to have kidnapped Betty’s 10-year-old girl, at a primary school in Ikageng and taken her to an unknown location. Following the child’s disappearance, the mother reported a case of kidnapping at a local police station”.
On Monday 08 November 2021, the police proceeded to his home, to search and they discovered a partially decomposed body of Kamogelo, hidden under a bed. Post-mortem results revealed that the child died of ligature strangulation. In his plea, he admitted to strangling the child with a cable until she died.