This is Tefelo Dikole, the man who allegedly throttled a six-year-old boy, tossed him in the air and disembowelled him because the child refused to let him rape his mother.
While his mother wrestled her assailant on the ground, little Kutlwano Garesape stepped in, unleashing all his might to slap, kick and pull the man five times his age by the leg.
In the end, Segomotso Garesape’s assailant did not succeed in raping her, but her son paid for that with his life.
Dikole (32), who is on trial for murder and attempted rape, denied any involvement in the crime when he appeared in the Northern Cape High Court in Kimberley last week.
He denied throwing the six-year-old Grade R pupil twice into the air and slashing his stomach open with a broken bottle.
He repeatedly contended, through his lawyer, that he was not at the murder scene, that he could not have been the attacker, and that he had been collecting scrap metal and glass to sell at the time.
The only time Dikole smiled in court was when he saw his elderly mother, Millicent, walk towards him during an adjournment on Thursday.
He had asked a court orderly to call her when she was outside the building. She came in, reluctantly.
Dikole asked her to buy him cigarettes and a prepaid telephone card. She told him she had no money. Impatient, she kept interrupting him as he tried to speak to her in a hushed voice.
As she walked away, she told him: “Your problem is you’re very naughty. Who do you want to call from prison anyway?”
Millicent Dikole and Garesape met for the first time last week, when the detective investigating the case drove them in the same car 99km from their home in the town of Jan Kempdorp to the high court in Kimberley.
The two had never met. Both women were nervous.
“I first heard Tefelo had killed a child long after he was already buried, and I was told by the community that the young boy’s family would kill me if they see me. I kept my distance. I didn’t know what to expect when I met them,” Millicent said.
Meanwhile Garesape was asking herself: “What kind of parents are they who don’t even bother coming to see us after what happened?”
When they met in the car, Millicent introduced herself.
“We started talking and she was quick to show her sympathy,” Garesape said. “I understand because she never sent her son to attack me and kill my son. We’re now good and spend time together in court and after proceedings as well.”
Millicent later told City Press her son, the second of three, was her only child who had matriculated.
“He passed his mathematics and science very well and I was hoping he would study further and perhaps take us out of poverty,” she said.
“But he chose the wrong friends. He refused offers by relatives who offered to help him apply for a government bursary to study medicine in Cuba, or even nursing. He said he was not ready to work.
“Tefelo chose the wrong friends, and got into drugs. The last thing I expected was for him to be accused of killing a human being, let alone so brutally.”
Millicent sat outside court the entire week.
She was listed as a state witness, but the prosecution later decided that she would not be needed and she no longer had to testify.
“This boy grew up lazy, but not with his books. In fact, he used to assist his friends with maths and science.”
She said it saddened her that he stands accused of killing an innocent child who was defending his mother.
Garesape’s testimony painted a horrific picture of what happened that day, August 12 2016.
She told the court that Dikole was a familiar face in Jan Kempdorp.
“I usually saw him in town walking with street kids; the eldest among them. He once offered to carry our grocery bags and at one stage he came to the school where I work as a cook and asked for food, which I gave him,” she said.
“We were walking to school after missing the bus and he appeared and asked for R2. When I looked at him he looked up, closed his eyes, pulled his face and with a tight grin started shaking his head. I told him I didn’t have any money with me and we carried on walking.”
Suddenly, she heard her eldest son Thabiso, who was eight at the time, screaming. When she turned around she saw Dikole holding a broken bottle and standing there like he was about to stab her.
She went for the hand with a bottle and they started wrestling. She described how Dikole kept trying to pull her skirt.
While Thabiso kept his distance and screamed for help, his younger brother went on the attack. He was a wrestling fanatic who gave himself the nickname John Cena, after the American professional wrestler. Kutlwano performed his best flying kicks, slapped the man more than three times his size and kicked and wrestled with his leg, shouting repeatedly: “This is my mother! Leave my mother!”
Garesape said Dikole made his voice deeper, apparently to scare the young hero, but he would not budge. Garesape testified that Dikole told her son: “You’re stubborn, neh? I can see you’re stubborn.”
He grabbed Kutlwano by the shoulder and tossed him into the air.
“He did it again and when he landed the second time, my son was pinned to the ground, throttled. His hand was in the air as he tried to push Dikole away. He was stabbed with a broken bottle, his stomach slashed open.”
Kutlwano’s dying words to his mother were a request for “one last kiss”.
Other witnesses testified how Kutlwano’s brother, Thabiso, had come running to them, sobbing and asking for help. He led four men to the scene and they chased the man they identified in court as Dikole.
Three of them said he had tried to attack them and warned them he would kill them if they dared get any closer to him.
Witness Bolokamang Cecil, from Proefplaas, where Dikole allegedly fled to, said he confronted him about his alleged crime.
“He looked angry when he looked at me and asked why was I concerned because the child was not mine. I asked him how would he feel if this was his child? And he missed me with an empty beer bottle after I turned my back,” Cecil testified.
As witnesses testified in front of him, Dikole appeared disorientated, his eyes roving around the courtroom. At times he appeared not to follow proceedings or pay attention to the testimony. At others, his dark, deep-set eyes would fall on a witness telling their story.
His mother wants nothing but punishment for him.
“Tefelo must pay for his evil deeds. He’s hurt me, hurt his victim’s family and, most of all, the young boy who died so cruelly. He deserves a harsh sentence in prison,” she said.
“I saw gruesome pictures of the young boy’s body with his intestines exposed. I can’t imagine what his mother is going through.”
The trial continues.
TALK TO US
Should Dikole be found guilty of the murder, what punishment should be imposed on him?
SMS us on 35697 using the keyword KUTLWANO and tell us what you think. Include your name and province. SMSes cost R1.50