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Murder Files: Brothers’ greed for money led to brutal killing

The siblings took out funeral policies for their relative and planned to steal his property business when plotting the murder.


Image via Adobe Stock

Brothers, Gopolang Maoka, 36, and Moleko Maoka, 37, who were driven by greed to murder a relative to get their hands on his small business have been sentenced to life in prison in the North West High Court.

Gopolang and Moleko were convicted of murder, robbery but acquitted of two counts of fraud related to funeral policies they had taken out for their relative.

National Prosecuting Authority regional spokesperson Henry Mamothame said the accused were related to their victim.

“They worked and stayed together in Kuruman at a place known as Kathu. Investigations revealed that the two were renting from the deceased and upon retirement, he moved to a village known as Seoding and left his premises under their care,” Mamothame said. “Amongst other things, they were responsible for collecting rental money from other tenants to send it to the deceased. Upon realising the amount of money accumulated from rentals, the two brothers driven by greed, convinced each other to operate the business for themselves,” Mamothame said. 

Mamothame said the siblings saw their relative as an obstacle in their quest to own his business, so they plotted the murder.

“On 07 January 2017 the accused arranged a meeting with the deceased under a false pretence of a family meeting in Seoding. They then left Kathu after knocking off from work and went to Seoding where their plan was to be executed,” Mamothame said.

“Their cousin back in Seoding where the meeting was supposedly to take place was not aware of their presence in the village. As planned, they called the deceased person to meet with him at their cousin’s house where the family meetings are usually held. They then waited for him in the bushes where he was supposed to pass through and they gruesomely murdered him by bashing his head with a huge stone and robbed him off his two cellphones,” Mamothame said.

The victim’s body was discovered the following day.

“Evidence led in court by the investigating officer revealed that a few months prior to executing the murder, the accused insured the deceased person with Nedbank as well as Assupol with an intention of cashing up on the two policies after murdering him,” Mamothame said.

“The family of the deceased was instructed by the police to refer anyone who requested the death certificate to the police. Following this instruction, investigations led to the arrest of Moleko Maoka on 17 January 2017 whilst making enquiries about the death certificate of the deceased with the intention of claiming from the insurance companies,” Mamothame said.

Moleko eventually disclosed his reasons for inquiring about the death certificate. 

“He also confessed to the entire plot of murdering the deceased to make financial gains on his rental property,” Mamothame said. Investigations further led the police to Kathu village where a blood stained pair of shoes was found in the sibling’s rented apartment.

The two were sentenced to life imprisonment for murder and 15 years for robbery. They were acquitted of the two charges of fraud. 

In meting out the sentence, Judge Gura emphasised that the murder of the innocent 64-year old man had been motivated by the siblings’ greed.

Advocate Cain Nontenjwa argued that the murder was pre-meditated and driven by greed and therefore warranted the maximum prison term.

Acting Director of Public Prosecutions in the North West, Advocate Rachel Makhari-Sekhaolelo welcomed the conviction.