A recycler who admitted to a murder charge was remanded in custody by the Alexandra Magistrates’ Court pending sentencing.
In mitigation, accused Ephaphrus Seima of Alexandra claimed before Magistrate Reinier Boshoff that the murder was unintentional and meant to be a warning against the theft of his wares.
The fatal stabbing occurred early in the morning of 17 March along Vincent Tshabalala Road, near the Alexandra Health Care Centre. He was arrested the following day by police who alerted him of the death.
Seima, who wanted to sell his recycling to raise money to attend a funeral in Polokwane, his hometown, claimed to have stabbed another recycler in a fit of rage after the theft of two of his bags filled with empty bottles and cardboard paper and worth R2 000.
They were stolen on two consecutive days before they had been sorted. On the first day, he searched around but in vain, and the following day, he found a second bag was missing.
After searching around, he saw the victim and a colleague sorting out one of his bags. They fled when they saw him but he managed to catch the victim who, when questioned, claimed to have been helping the one who got away.
In frustration, Seima stabbed him once in each thigh and left him writhing in pain and took his bag.
He claimed to have stabbed the victim as a warning against stealing from him to raise money to buy nyaope while he struggled through the business to support his family.
He confessed to the murder to the police who arrested him the following day and also told him of the death.