Johannesburg – The high court of South Africa in the North West has sentenced Lesley Tsholofelo Mabalane, 47, to 35 years behind bars for murdering his lover and stealing her cellphone and purse in 2017.
Mabalane who was described as a jealous partner, who was abusive towards the deceased, was given 25 years for murder and an additional 10 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances. The court ordered the sentence of the murder and the stealing to be run concurrently.
In October 2017, Mabalane is said to have arrived at the house of his then lover, Tlhomelang Selina Mmule who worked as a nurse and was returning home from a night shift, preparing to go shopping with her daughter and demanded to speak to her.
Mmule then told her daughter to leave ahead of her and she would catch up. After a long while the daughter grew concerned that her mother was not showing up and called her with no answer and she returned home.
Upon her arrival she found her younger brother and neighbour standing outside the house because they could not gain access as the house was locked. The neighbour testified that she called Mmule’s cell phone and Mabalane answered the call before he swiftly hung up.
The three are said to have then peeped through the windows of the house and saw the deceased lying on the floor with no movement. They then asked a man in a nearby house for help and he was able to break down the door to gain entry.
They found Mmule lying on the floor, not fully dressed and motionless with bleeding stab wounds. Upon further investigations, they noticed that her phone and purse were missing.
Police investigations led them to Mabalane’s home, where he was staying with his parents. Mmule’s cell phone and purse were found concealed under a pillow in his bedroom.
NPA North West Divisional Spokesperson, Henry Mamothame said “Adv Takalani Muneri argued for a minimum prescribed sentence for murder, however, Judge Francis Snyman, deemed it appropriate to sentence Mabalane to 25 years, after considering all factors surrounding the case, as well as the probation officer’s report, which declared Mabalane as a candidate for rehabilitation.”
The Director of Public Prosecutions in the North West, Dr Rachel Makhari Sekhaolele has applauded both the investigating officer and the prosecutor for their work, which resulted in a long jail sentence.