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Man who killed his estranged wife over RDP house sentenced to life imprisonment

The steps and entrance to the Western Cape High Court.

The sentencing was handed down in the Western Cape High Court.

Published Aug 3, 2023


A man has been sentenced to life imprisonment by the Western Cape High Court after he murdered and burnt the body of his estranged wife over a dispute concerning their RDP house.

Babsy Ntamehlo was found guilty on October 27, 2022, of the premeditated murder of Nosicelo Tsipa in October 2020. Evidence revealed that Ntamehlo expressed his intention to strangle his wife to death and burn her body close to their residence in Fisantekraal, Durbanville.

Days later, Tsipa's body was found strangled, partially burnt, and buried in a shallow grave near the Mosselbank River.

The court was informed of escalating tensions between the couple after Ntamehlo made it clear he wanted to separate from his wife and have her removed from the property.

Tsipa had collected recordings, voice messages, and WhatsApp texts where Ntamehlo threatened to kill her, sharing them with family and friends.

Ntamehlo's history of physical abuse against his wife led to her applying for two protection orders against him, both of which were only granted temporarily. Even after moving out, Ntamehlo continued to visit and abuse his wife, sometimes in front of their son.

The final encounter between the couple occurred on October 6, 2020.

Tsipa was never seen again, and her charred body was discovered the following day. Angry community members attempted to attack Ntamehlo, but the police intervened.

In addition to the life sentence, Judge Daniel Thulare declared Ntamehlo unfit to possess a firearm and ordered the RDP house be forfeited to the couple's son.

Thulare also issued orders to the Cape Town mayor and the Premier of the Eastern Cape to establish a trust for the child and ensure the family's visitation to Tsipa's grave for therapy.

Furthermore, the National Department of Social Development was ordered to provide all necessary resources to support the minor child in his emotional and psycho-social needs.

The court has allowed parties to approach it, should they need assistance to execute the order.

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