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A former policeman on Monday conveyed his “sympathies and apologies” to the family of his common-law wife who he had shot dead with his service pistol after “snapping”.

Godfrey Modikoe, 34, of Erasmus, north-west of Pretoria, pleaded guilty in the Pretoria High Court and was subsequently convicted of murdering Tshepiso Mafatle, the mother of his two children.

On Monday, Modikoe said he was deeply sorry for what he had done. He did not plan to kill her, but he snapped as she would not stop shouting and hurling abuse at him.

According to Modikoe, he even moved away from her to get out of the “toxic environment”, but on the day of the killing, when he visited his children, he was not able to handle her abuse any longer. He pulled the trigger and the bullet hit her in the face. “I believe she must have died instantly. I was shocked, dazed and confused and I did not know what to do. I simply walked away.”

Modikoe said the stress he was under as a policeman also contributed to his state of mind on December 27, 2010 when he pulled the trigger, but he knew his action was wrong and was prepared to take his punishment like a man. “I admit that, although I was severely depressed and felt humiliated, frustrated and hurt by our long and bitter history, I knew throughout… what I was doing.”

Modikoe said he did not plan to shoot or kill anyone. “Killing anyone did not come to mind. I acted on the spur of the moment.”

He had his service pistol with him at the time as he worked in the crime prevention unit and was due to be called out at any moment.

He went to see his children and took his best friend along, as “his presence would hopefully cause her to scream and insult me less”.

When he got to the house, Mafatle, “as usual”, hurled abuse at him, demanding money and groceries. He tried to calm her down, but when she swore at his grandmother, he had enough. “I could not take it any longer and I shot her.”

Modikoe will be sentenced on September 21.

Pretoria News