Two life terms handed to man who murdered Zakariyya Park doctor and burnt her domestic worker

The High Court of South Africa, Gauteng Local Division, Johannesburg sentenced Wilson Rilamfhu (36), to two life imprisonment terms for killing Doctor Memory Mathe and her domestic worker Pretty Moyo, in August 2019, at Zakariyya Park (south of Johannesburg). Rilamfhu was further sentenced to five years imprisonment for arson and another 15 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances. He was charged together with Ronnie Kgobane (31), who was acquitted on all charges.

On 29 August 2019, Rilamfhu was hired by the Mathes to do repairs on their leaking roof, as he was known to the family and normally did small jobs at their home. Rilamfhu asked Kgobane to assist him, at a fee. Present at the house were Dr Mathe and Moyo, who stayed in the back room. While Rilamfhu was working, he had a disagreement with Mathe about the payment for his labour, which resulted in him strangling Mathe.

He thereafter bought petrol and set the back room, where Moyo was, on fire. The accused then proceeded to take items from the main house, packed them into Mathe’s vehicle, and fled the scene. Mathe’s neighbour saw flames coming from the back room and rushed to see the cause. She stumbled upon the bodies of Mathe and Moyo. Firefighters, paramedics, and the police were summoned to the scene.

Louis Mathe arrived as the crowd and police gathered outside his home, and immediately knew something was wrong. He entered the main house and saw his wife’s lifeless body. Mathe was further pointed to the back room that was destroyed by fire with another deceased body in it, which he later confirmed as their domestic worker. He further realised that his wife’s vehicle was missing.

With the help of the police, he managed to call the car tracking company and was informed that the car was found in the vicinity of Braamfontein, and a male person (Rilamfhu) has been arrested. The accused then told the police that he committed the offences together with Kgobane, who was arrested in a taxi in Limpopo. In arguing for a firm sentence, Adv. Deborah Zinn put forward to the court that the brutal killings of the deceased showed that the accused have little to no respect for the law.

The NPA extends its gratitude to witnesses that testified during the trial, to Senior State Adv. Deborah Zinn and Investigating Officer, Detective Nkosingiphile Mathenjwa, for their role in securing a successful conviction.

Issued by NPA

One thought on “Two life terms handed to man who murdered Zakariyya Park doctor and burnt her domestic worker

  • May 19, 2023 at 2:42 pm

    Dr Mathe was s desr friend and a colleague. I am happy the guy is finally sentenced but unfortunately gone forever…May her soul rest in peace…I miss her daily…work is not the same ever since she passed.


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