Eastern Cape – The suitcase murder accused Alutha Pasile has been sentenced to 25 years imprisonment by the East London High Court Judge Nomathamsanqa Beshe.
Pasile pleaded guilty to murdering Fort Hare University student Nosicelo Mtebeni and to attempt to defeat the ends of justice by dismembering her body into pieces and stuff it in a suitcase.
He was also sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for trying to defeat the ends of justice. Both sentences will run concurrently.
The state argued that he intended to conceal Mtebeni’s identity when he dumped the rest of the body on the street and kept her head and hands with intention to dispose of it where they could not be found.
Pasile and Mtebeni were in a relationship and lived together when conflict occurred after he had taken her cellphone driven by suspicions that she was cheating and was looking at her conversations searching for this other relationship he had imagined.
When Mtebeni tried to take back her cellphone from Pasile he stabbed her three times, in the head, neck and in her hand.
But it was a massive force that Pasile used to push her against the wall and after that she fell with her face down.
During pre-sentencing arguments Pasile’s lawyer Ncumisa Dyantyi asked for a lenient sentence, arguing that it was never his intention to kill her. Dyantyi said Pasile owned up after he was caught, when there are people who would still deny despite being caught in the act.
She said Pasile was the first time offender and had no history of being abusive towards Mtebeni.
The state however argued for harsher sentence. The state prosecutor Nicky Turner said there would have been no leads to who really killed Mtebeni if it was not two women who saw him carrying the suitcase with her body parts because he had kept the key to her identity, which is the head and the hands.
Turner said the concealment of Mtebeni’s identity was premeditated. She said the affair which had been used in his plea is completely irrelevant because there was no evidence of such in Mtebeni’s cellphone.
Turner said, although Pasile claims that he loved Mtebeni, the amount of violence he unleashed on her and chopping her body parts means he showed no respect to her and her body integrity.
She said if Pasile was remorseful he would have called for help immediately after realising that she’s dead and wouldn’t have carried on dismembering her body parts.
Judge Beshe also concurred that Pasile showed no remorse.
She said there is nowhere he speaks about remorse that he had killed Mtebeni.
“Even in death he showed no respect for the deceased. This was shown by dumping her body in a street corner.
It buckles me as to why this remorse didn’t kickin throughout the whole three days of the attempts to avoid detention for killing the deceased,” said Judge Beshe.
She said a strong message has to be sent out to show women and children that their rights are protected under the law and that those who have committed serious offences against them will get harsher sentences from the state.
Mtebeni family however said the sentence is too lenient and Pasile will be reunited with his family when they will never see their daughter again.
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