Durban - Former Correctional Services Official, Simphiwe Mxosa, 48, was sentenced to life imprisonment in the Eastern Cape High Court for the brutal murder of his ex-wife.
The court also declared him unfit to possess a firearm and ordered comprehensive support for the children and maternal grandmother.
Mxosa was found guilty of hacking his ex-wife to death with a bush knife in his residence located in the Correctional Services precinct of West Bank Prison Quarters, East London, on March 1, 2022.
Their 9-year-old daughter was present during the gruesome act, having accompanied her mother to collect clothing from Mxosa's premises.
The couple had legally divorced in 2019, but they continued to maintain relations as a customary wedded couple and frequently visited each other's homes. However, the deceased had recently ended the relationship due to Mxosa's history of physical abuse.
On the day of the incident, Mxosa confronted his ex-wife, questioning her about leaving him permanently. When she remained silent, he deceitfully pretended to assist her in retrieving shoes from under the bed. He then produced a bush knife and fatally attacked her.
The 9-year-old daughter, traumatised by the horrific scene, managed to escape and quickly alerted the community to the tragedy she had witnessed. The police arrested Mxosa on the same day while he was drinking alcohol with friends at a nearby shopping mall.
Throughout the trial, Mxosa maintained his innocence, claiming that his daughter had fabricated the events and had been influenced by her maternal grandmother.
State Advocate Andile Nohiya argued for the imposition of the prescribed minimum sentence of life imprisonment. Nohiya highlighted the prevailing issue of femicide and gender-based violence in society, emphasising the need for severe punishment.
Moreover, given that Mxosa had served as a Correctional Officer for 14 years, entrusted with rehabilitating offenders who committed similar crimes, Nohiya stressed the importance of holding him to a higher standard.
Barry Madolo, the Eastern Cape Director of Public Prosecutions, commended the investigating officer and the prosecutor for their unwavering dedication in ensuring that a law enforcement official faced the full extent of the law.
According to the NPA, the sentencing of Mxosa represents a significant step in the fight against gender-based violence and sends a powerful message that such acts will not be tolerated.
In addition to the life imprisonment verdict, the court declared Mxosa unfit to possess a firearm, acknowledging the grave nature of the crime. The court also recognised the emotional toll on Mxosa's children, ordering the Department of Social Development to provide psycho-social counselling and any necessary support.
The NPA said the case highlighted the urgent need for society to address the alarming prevalence of gender-based violence and femicide, and the verdict served as a poignant reminder that justice would be pursued rigorously for those who perpetrated such heinous acts.