Man who killed lover in front of her minor kids not given life term as he’s a first time offender
Johannesburg - A man who stabbed his lover to death in front of her two children has been handed a 25-year jail term and spared a life sentence on grounds that he was a first time offender.
Jan Mafa learnt his fate at the Middelburg High Court this week after being found guilty of the gruesome murder of Mapula Moremi, his girlfriend.
He stabbed Moremi several times with a table knife at her Driefontein, Mpumalanga, home while her minor two boys watched helplessly.
While she was dying, Mafa made off with her money and a bag of snacks.
Acting Judge Hein Brauckmann found Mafa guilty of murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances.
The judge handed out the sentence this week, slapping Mafa with 25 years for murder and 15 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances.
The sentences will run concurrently.
Judge Brauckmann said he was swayed by the defence counsel’s submission that Mafa maintained a straight and narrow path until he was 35-years-old.
As part of mitigating factors, counsel also submitted that Mafa maintained two of his own children. He was also a spiritual healer who obtained matric as well as security services and plumbing certificates.
“In my view, if it was not for the fact that Mafa had a clean record for 35 years, the crimes would have justified a life sentence,” said Judge Brauckmann.
“The mitigating circumstances … must clearly reduce the life sentence that would otherwise have been appropriate, but in the court’s view, it is capable of reducing it to 25 years imprisonment.”
A life sentence would have meant Mafa would be eligible for parole after 25 years in jail. His sentence meant he would qualify for parole once he served half of 25 years.
Judge Brauckmann said Mafa’s circumstances were outweighed by society’s need for retributive and deterrent sentences in such heartless crimes.
“The murder was callous, brutal and shocking. The deceased died a painful and violent death at the hand of someone who testified that they spent the day together prior,” he said.
“She did not die instantly. She suffered and eventually, succumbed to death.
“A significant feature of the crime was that Mr Mafa did not call for medical assistance; instead, he left her to die.”
The brutal murder took place in full view of the two minor children “who knew the deceased as their only mother”, Judge Brauckmann said.
“They looked on while he continuously stabbed the deceased for no reason at all. The court is of the view that the two boys will suffer from this traumatic experience for the rest of their lives.”
He said almost all the cases he heard in Breyten and Middelburg were about the murder of women.
“More women most probably perished at the hands of their loved ones than of Covid-19 the last 12 months in Mpumalanga.”