Mpumalanga man given life for killing ex-girlfriend and their 4 children
THE South African Police Service (SAPS) in Mpumalanga on Saturday welcomed the life imprisonment term handed down this week to a man convicted of killing his former girlfriend and mother of his four children about a year ago.
Lucky Alfred Mhlanga, 34, was sentenced in the Mpumalanga Division of the High Court, sitting in Breyten, on Thursday for murdering his 28-year-old former girlfriend with whom he fathered four children, Mpumalanga SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said in a statement.
"The victim Zinhle Happiness Nkabinde's lifeless body was discovered on 15 February 2020 after she was reported missing on 10 February 2020.
"The court heard how Nkabinde was physically abused by Mhlanga repeatedly to a point where she sought solace from authorities by applying for a protection order against the violent father of her children," he said.
Despite the efforts she took to protect herself, Mhlanga "continued to make her life miserable to the extreme that on“ December 26, 2019, he physically assaulted her at a farm in Piet Retief and she then reported the matter to the police who arrested him for violation of the protection order.
Mhlanga then appeared in court, but was granted bail. "One could have expected Mhlanga to learn a lesson from this, but instead he did not change.
"Nkabinde, who was employed as a domestic worker to fend for her children, did not report for work on the fateful day and her employer contacted her family to enquire about her whereabouts, but it turned out that her family too did not know where she was," Hlathi said.
They then reported her as missing at the Piet Retief police station. The police, as well as her family members and some concerned community members, began a search for her, but with no success.
On February 15, 2020, her body was discovered in the bush at a farm in the Mahamba area. The investigation fingered Mhlanga as the main suspect and police arrested him on February 26, 2020.
"This time around, the court denied him bail to the day he appeared to account for his barbaric actions. A trial began and he attended his case in court while being remanded in custody."
On Wednesday, February 10, 2021, Mhlanga pleaded guilty on the charges against him and the high court accepted his guilty plea on the murder charge and for violating a protection order.
He was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder and five years imprisonment for violating the protection order. The sentences would run concurrently.
"The police management in the province has applauded the sterling work done by the investigation team, the prosecution, as well as the judiciary in ensuring that the likes of Mhlanga are meted with well-deserved sentences.
"Police also believe that this sentence should serve as a deterrent to perpetrators of gender-based violence, who continue to cowardly prey on defenceless women," Hlathi said.
African News Agency (ANA)