A Gauteng man who killed his wife, during a physical fight after they had an argument at their residence in Atteridgeville, has been sentenced to life in prison.
The Pretoria High Court sentenced Christhappy Foster Maluleke, 41, from Saulsville, to life imprisonment for the premeditated murder of his 33-year-old wife, Rirhandzu Life Shisana.
In the early hours of November 22, 2021, Maluleke and his wife were having an argument that led to a physical fight at their place of residence in Atteridgeville.
During their fight, the deceased succumbed to the injuries and died on the scene, and when Maluleke realised that their wife had died, he laid her on the bed, covered her body with a blanket, and fled the scene.
"On the same day, he called the police and informed them about what had happened," NPA regional spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana said.
"When the police arrived where he was, he and the police went to the house where the incident occurred," Mahanjana said.
In court, Maluleke pleaded guilty and said the incident was a form of self-defence against the deceased, and his intentions were not to kill the deceased.
"Through his legal representative, he asked the court to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence, as he has three minor children," Mahanjana said.
However, state prosecutor advocate David Molokomme told the court that the deceased was killed by Maluleke a month before the wedding at the home they shared, a place she regarded as a safe space.
"Furthermore, the deceased expected Maluleke to protect her; instead, he killed her and left her loved ones with permanent trauma," she said.
Advocate Molokomme also handed in a Victim Impact Statement (VIS) compiled by the court preparation officer, Lebohang Lebese, where the mother of the deceased stated that the death of her daughter affected her psychologically, which resulted in her having sleepless nights and being diagnosed with major depression.
During the sentencing, Judge Papi Masopa agreed with the state and said that Maluleke did not respect the deceased's right to life when killing her and that he was not remorseful for his actions as he did not even ask for forgiveness from the family and community through his attorney.
"The deceased was a defenceless person who was killed carelessly and brutally by someone who she thought would protect her.
"Therefore, he found no compelling and substantial circumstances to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence. More so, the communities are tired of crimes against women and children.
"Lastly, he said he hoped the sentence given would teach Maluleke and anyone who wants to commit a similar offence a lesson," Mahanjana said.