SANDF MEMBER SENTENCED TO LIFE IMPRISONMENT FOR VIOLATION OF A PROTECTION ORDER AND MURDER OF HIS WIFE 

SANDF MEMBER SENTENCED TO LIFE IMPRISONMENT FOR VIOLATION OF A PROTECTION ORDER AND MURDER OF HIS WIFE 

The High Court of South Africa: The Mpumalanga Division of the High Court has today sentenced a South African National Defense Force (SANDF) member, Welcome Sambo (33) to life imprisonment for violation of the protection order, and premeditated murder of his wife Wandisile Lucia Khoza.  Sambo and Khoza were residing together and have two kids. Prior to the incident, the deceased successfully applied for the protection order against the accused on 22 May 2019.Some of the conditions set by the court, were for the accused not to assault the deceased and not threaten to kill her.
 
On 12 October 2021, the accused went to the deceased’s place of work, in Nkomazi Municipality Infrastructure offices to look for her, however, he did not find her, and he left. He later came to the deceased’s place of work, armed himself with a firearm and found the deceased. An altercation about infidelity accusation ensued between the two, the accused stabbed the deceased several times and fired several shots at her. As a result, the deceased died instantly, and the accused fled the scene . Postmortem report showed that the deceased’s cause of death was determined to be fatal gunshot wounds to the body.

In court he pleaded not guilty and claimed self-defence. State Advocate Eugene Mathebula led evidence from several witnesses. Mathebula also handed in a victim impact statement compiled by the deceased’s aunt and facilitated by Court Preparation Officer Nomfundo Mokoena. In her statement ,she detailed that since the death of her niece,  their hearts as a family are shuttered, and are left with many unanswered questions about the way the deceased was killed . In aggravation of sentence, the state led evidence deceased’s older sister, which proved that the accused is a violent person and was found guilty on both counts.

Judge Vincent Ratshibvumo took into consideration the personal circumstances of the accused, the seriousness of the offence the accused is convicted of and the interest of justice. He said domestic violence has become a scourge in society, where many women and children live in fear, no longer walking peacefully on the streets to enjoy their shopping, their entertainment to go to work, and enjoy peace at home. He found no reasons to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence. For sentencing, both counts were taken together, and was sentenced the accused to life imprisonment. The court declared the accused unfit to possess a firearm.

The National Prosecuting Authority is satisfied with the sentence imposed on the accused with the hope that the victim’s family will find solace and closure. We acknowledge the good work done by the prosecution and the police that justice has prevailed.

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