The family of college student Precious Ramabulana, 21, learnt for the first time yesterday that their child was stabbed 90 times by her attacker.
The details were revealed during submissions into the mitigating and aggravating circumstances in the murder trial against Aubrey Manaka in the Limpopo High Court.
Ramabulana’s aunt, Mavis Sitholimela, broke down on the stand as she testified that the family would no longer forgive Manaka.
“We are no longer going to forgive him. It means he had planned to kill her like that. Imagine forgiving someone who stabbed your daughter 90 times as we just heard for the first time in court today,” Sitholimela said.
She added the family was really shocked by the incised wounds.
Manaka revealed in court that he stabbed Ramabulana before and after raping her.
“I can’t remember how many times I stabbed her but it was several. I stabbed her to overpower her and I then raped her,” he said.
“I stabbed her to death because I feared she would recognise and report me to the police.”
Prosecutor Trott Mphahlele also broke down when Sitholimela expressed her shock as she heard about the wounds inflicted on Ramabulana’s body.
Sitholimela had on Wednesday told Sowetan the family had forgiven Manaka for killing Ramabulana, a Capricorn Technical and Vocational Education and Training college student in her off-campus rented room in Mokomene, outside Polokwane.
This was shortly after Manaka pleaded guilty to charges of murder, rape, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and house breaking with intent to rape Ramabulana from whom he stole two cellphones in 2o19.
Manaka asked the family and the community at large to forgive him.
Sitholimela said Ramabulana’s death had left the family devastated.
“Precious ’ mother has been in and out of hospital since the death of her daughter. It is weighing heavily on her because she lost her husband the previous year,” she said.
Sitholimela said Ramabulana looked after her mother and siblings with the National Student Financial Aid Scheme money she received to fund her studies.
In his mitigation, Manaka said he had a four-year-old daughter who stays with her mother and he supports her financially. Speaking to Sowetan after court proceedings, Mphahlele said
the deceased had 90 penetrating wounds as the accused was using an Okapi to inflict. “I have never in my career seen so many stab wounds and blood like what the young lady went through,” he said.
Mphahlele said he had never broken down in court before despite prosecuting horrible cases.
Sentencing set for today.