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Northern Cape man sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering pregnant girlfriend

A silhouette of a pregnant woman.

Petunia Rooi was 34-weeks pregnant at the time of her death. File Picture: Pexels

Published Nov 3, 2023


The Northern Cape High Court, sitting in Upington, has sentenced a 44-year-old man to life imprisonment for the murder of his pregnant girlfriend.

Thys Mondzinger, 44, was convicted of murdering Petunia Rooi, 34.

He was also charged in contravention of the protection order that was in effect at the time of the murder, although the contravention was in respect of an incident a year before the murder.

The court heard that on May 4, in Kenhardt, near Upington, Mondzinger and Rooi, who were in a relationship, attended court, and he wanted her to withdraw the case against him.

However, due to the seriousness of the matter, the State prosecutor refused to withdraw the matter, and the couple left court.

Later, Mondzinger came across his girlfriend walking with her ex-boyfriend. He then took out a knife and stabbed her all over her body.

He did this in full view of nine witnesses. One of the witnesses went to inform Rooi’s daughter of the incident and returned with the daughter to the scene, but Mondzinger and Rooi were nowhere to be found.

The matter was reported to the police, who immediately started looking for Rooi but could not find her or Mondzinger anywhere.

The following day, he was arrested and pointed out to the police where the body of his girlfriend lay.

He was charged with two counts of murder: the murder of Rooi and her unborn child; she was 34-weeks pregnant at the time of her death.

During the case, Mondzinger did not apply for bail, however, he pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him.

During the trial, the court heard Rooi had been stabbed approximately 28 times, and she died as a result of blood loss from a stab wound to her neck.

In her victim impact statement, Rooi’s 18-year-old daughter, who is in Grade 12 this year, testified how her mother’s death had an impact on her and her four siblings.

State Prosecutor advocate Mary-Ann Engelbrecht called for the court to hand down the maximum sentence and stated that Mondzinger had shown no remorse. She called for a clear message to be sent out to all perpetrators of gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF).

During sentencing, Mondzinger was acquitted on the murder charge of the unborn child. The law as it currently stands does not allow for murder in respect of a child not born alive. He was also acquitted on the charges of contravening the protection order.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment for Rooi’s murder.

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