Today the Modimolle Regional Court in Limpopo sentenced the white man Stefan Hepburn to a term of six years imprisonment for killing a black farm worker Jan Railo. Hepburn, who had been convicted in 2018 for culpable homicide hunted and killed Railo like a bush-pig in the Tuinplaas farm in 2017.
In a white supremacist society it is necessary to equate blacks to animals – to render them subhuman beings so as to secure the white power project. In the mind of white justice equating blacks to animals and killing them is not the same as killing human beings who are white. Black First Land First (BLF) is appalled by the disturbingly light sentence imposed on Hepburn whose conduct was clearly racist.
Hepburn was charged and convicted of a lesser offence of culpable homicide instead of murder. This smacks of naked racism. It also served to rescue him from a harsher more appropriate sentence.
The sentence imposed on Hepburn is therefore inappropriate. It is shockingly lenient. It screams racial disparity in sentencing. In comparison, the hip-hop artist Molemo “Jub Jub” Maarohanye and Themba Tshabalala (black men) who were convicted of culpable homicide for negligently causing death were both sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.
BLF calls on the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to do the right thing including taking the matter on appeal against the sentence imposed on Hepburn. We call for justice to be done and for the imposition of an appropriate sentence – one befitting a racist killer.
Issued by Black First Land First, National Coordinating Committee (BLF NCC)
30 January 2019
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