A 33-year-old Senegalese man, Elhadji Adama Kebe, was paraded before a court for stabbing his South African girlfriend, Sibongile Zenzile, more than 10 times before severing her head.
During court proceedings, Kebe, 33, who said that he regrets what he did pleaded guilty in February to killing Zenzile, 29, in their Kempton Park, Johannesburg flat on April 25, 2019.
Kebe, who arrived in South Africa from Senegal in 2016, also pleaded guilty to a charge of violating a corpse after he left his girlfriend’s head in a refrigerator and was arrested at a shop he ran not far from their flat the next day.
Sentencing proceedings began in the high court in Johannesburg on Wednesday, where Kebe presented evidence in mitigation of sentence and when asked by his lawyer, Innocent Mthembu about how he felt about killing Zenzile, Kebe cried and said he regretted everything he did.
“Sibongile was my girlfriend and accomplice and we did everything together. I deeply regret what happened,” said Kebe.
Prosecutor advocate Enock Makua, however, asked Kebe whether he would agree that he brutally killed Zenzile. Kebe said he accepted that he had killed Zenzile.
Makua questioned how Kebe could go on and open his shop the next day and operate as if nothing had happened. Kebe said he was confused and could not stay at home.
“I do not know what happened to me that day. I could not stay at home as I could not see the body. I had no other place to go other than the shop. Even at the shop, I was confused. I knew I would be arrested. I was not even able to run away,” said Kebe.
Presenting arguments in mitigation of sentence, Mthembu said Kebe was a first-time offender and had been in custody for nearly two years.
“He did not run away. He was found at a shop not far from the scene. He came clean and wanted to plead guilty.”
Mthembu said Kebe was remorseful. “It is my submission that this is a crime of passion. There was an argument that involved another Nigerian gentleman and there is also evidence that the deceased at one stage was the one who tried to stab the accused.
“And in retaliation, this is how we find ourselves in this position, where we have to deal with the death of the deceased.”
Makua asked for Kebe to be sentenced to life imprisonment and the court is expected to pass sentence next month.