An employee has admitted to murdering his employer, an ANC MPL, in Doornpoort in July 2020. Monoko Francis Thoka was found guilty of murder and housebreaking. The MPL was stabbed 11 times.
ANC MPL Mapiti Matsena was stabbed 11 times in his bedroom – while his wife was lying in bed – by the man he employed to look after his disabled son.
Monoko Francis Thoka, 30, appeared in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday, where he pleaded guilty to murdering Matsena in 2020 as well as house robbery.
In a plea explanation, read out by his lawyer, Martin Botha, Thoka said Matsena employed him in January 2019; they both came from the same village, Ga-marikana.
He said he was employed to do gardening and to look after Matsena’s disabled son at their home in Doornpoort, Pretoria North.
A year after he was employed, Thoka said he had a verbal altercation with Matsena’s sister. He decided to resign from his job because of how he was “treated”. He also said he did not “regularly receive his full salary”.
Following his resignation, Thoka asked Matsena to return his possessions, including a phone, driver’s licence, a hair cutter and clothes. ANC Gauteng MPL Mapiti Matsena, who was killed at his home.
“The deceased refused to hand over my possessions, whereafter a verbal altercation ensued, which ended in the deceased physically assaulting me,” Thoka claimed.
Thoka opened a case of assault against Matsena, but the matter was later withdrawn.
Thoka said he entered Matsena’s house in February to retrieve his possessions, but only found some of his clothing.
He asked his mother to contact Matsena’s parents, in an attempt to get the rest of his possessions, but this also had little success.
“I was informed by my mother that the deceased informed his parents that he would return my possessions after I repaid an amount the deceased had inadvertently paid into my bank account, instead of his bond account. I checked my account, but found no such deposit and informed my mother of this fact.”
Thoka said the events that unfolded led to him forming the opinion that Matsena was being disrespectful.
“This impression was confirmed when I was informed that the criminal case against the deceased was withdrawn without any reason,” Thoka said.
“I became very frustrated and emotional about the way I was treated. This caused me a lot of distress because I had tried by all means to resolve the situation.
“I further wish to state that, on 15 July 2020, I decided to take revenge by confronting the deceased and to show him he could not treat people like that.”
Thoka said he went to Matsena’s house and waited for him to return home.
He gained entry into the home by using a closed, but unlocked, exterior bedroom door. He said he knew it would not be locked.
Once there, he found Matsena’s wife in bed.
“I told her to remain quiet and covered her with the blanket, and waited for the deceased to come into the room. While I was waiting, I took the cardholder and contents from the trousers of the deceased.”
When Matsena returned to the bedroom, he saw Thoka. Matsena immediately started to fight, in an effort to defend himself.
“In the process, my emotions took over. I started to stab the deceased with a knife I had in my possession, and we ended up on the ground,” Thoka said.
“I vented my anger towards the deceased by attacking him with the knife, stabbing him several times, I can’t remember how many times. My intention was to stab the deceased.”
According to the post-mortem report, part of which was read out by Judge Hendrik de Vos, Matsena was stabbed 11 times.
Several of the stab wounds were deep, which included stab wounds to the right side of Matsena’s face, just below his jaw and to his chest.
Matsena died at his home shortly after the attack.
Thoko fled and was arrested two days later in Ga-marikana.
Guilty as charged
State prosecutor Mari Marriott accepted the plea explanation and handed in further admissions, including the post-mortem report.
Thoka said, while the events that unfolded made him reckless, he knew that he was committing an offence at the time, that his actions were wrong and could lead to the death of Matsena.
“I apologise for my actions and beg for forgiveness and mercy for my wrong actions.”
De Vos officially found Thoka guilty of murder and housebreaking.
The matter has been postponed to 19 July for sentencing.