Johannesburg - The Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, has sentenced Ramatsela Ramushu to one life term for the premeditated murder of Mthetheleli Gwanya, and two years of direct imprisonment for defeating the ends of justice.
Ramushu, aged 36, from Mooikloof Ridge, Pretoria East, discovered that the deceased had a girlfriend and two children she was not aware of. After the discovery, she invited the deceased over to her place at Mooikloof Ridge.
On the morning of April 31, 2021, Ramushu prepared breakfast for the two of them and poured sleeping pills in the deceased’s drink.
The deceased became drowsy, and it was at that point that Ramushu handcuffed him, poured boiling water on him, and assaulted him several times with an axe, until he died. Afterwards, she wrapped his body with a blanket and left it in her garage.
After cleaning the scene, she tried to commit suicide by drinking petrol, and fled in the deceased’s car. However, she was later found unconscious inside the parked vehicle at Garsfontein Road by the metro police, and paramedics took her to Steve Biko Hospital.
On the same day, a missing person’s report was opened at Boschkop police station by the long-term girlfriend of the deceased after failed to arrive to pick her and their children up.
When Ramushu regained consciousness at the hospital, she contacted her family members, asking that they go to her place of residence with the police, where they found the body of the deceased in her garage. She was arrested at the hospital.
NPA regional spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana said that in court that she pleaded not guilty to the charges, and told the court that the incident was an accident.
“When she took the stand during mitigation, she read into the record a letter apologising to the deceased, his family, and her family. Through her legal representative, she asked the court to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence.
“However, prosecutor Advocate Andre Wilsenach told the court that life imprisonment was the appropriate sentence because Ramushu showed no true remorse for her actions and did not tell the court why she committed the offence. Moreover, Ramushu gave the court a lot of untruthful evidence,” said Mahanjana.
Wilsenach also handed in Victim Impact Statements (VIS) compiled by the court preparation officer, Lebohang Lebese, where the deceased's sister, brother, and long-term girlfriend expressed how his death affected them emotionally and psychologically.
When handing down judgment, Judge Papi Masopa said Ramushu had no respect for life; the deceased died a painful death at her hands.
“Not only did she not have respect for life, but she also did not respect the deceased's right to privacy because when the deceased was found, he was half naked," he added. Furthermore, the deceased’s children are now going to grow up without a father because of Ramushu’s actions.
Therefore, the judge said he found that there were no substantial and compelling circumstances to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence, and found that Ramushu was a liar who did not take responsibility for her actions.