Editorial note: This story contains graphic details and may upset some readers, including children.

The High Court in Polokwane, Limpopo, has sentenced a 35-year-old man to two life terms for the rape and murder of two children near Marble Hall in the Sekhukhune district.

Charles Moswathupa pleaded guilty to the murder of three-year-old, Samson Sithole, at the Koteng informal settlement in 2018. He also admitted guilt in the rape and murder of six-year-old, Boitumelo Matsekolong, last year in Serageng village.

Moswathupa shared details of what happened when he murdered Sithole in a statement read in court. He says he had gambled his whole salary away and had been drunk. Sithole’s body was discovered in the bushes at Koteng village with head injuries. He says he could not hand himself over to the police following that incident because he was ashamed.

One year later in 2019, Moswathupa says he lured six-year-old Matsekoleng to the bushes at Serageng Village, where he raped her and left her with severe injuries. She was found and taken to hospital where she died 12 days later.

Moswathupa was apprehended by the community after Matsekoleng’s murder. He then confessed to killing Sithole to the community.

Judge, Ephraim Makgoba, says Moswathupa had no clear motive in committing the crimes. He sentenced him to two terms of life imprisonment which will run concurrently.

“In the circumstance, this court finds it appropriate to impose the prescribed sentence, the accused may rise on count one of murder, of the three-year-old toddler, you are sentenced to life imprisonment on count two and three, that is the rape and murder of the six-year-old child you are also [sic] sentenced to life imprisonment, so you have two life sentences.”

The families of the two minors have welcomed the life sentences handed down to him. Representative of the families, Ntapane Matsekoleng, says justice has been served.

“That man deserves the sentences he received, it has been almost a year since we have been dealing with this matter, we are glad the court removed him from the society, he must be in jail, we welcome the double sentencing.”