The High Court of South Africa, Eastern Cape Division, sitting in East London, sentenced former Correctional Services Official, Simphiwe Mxosa (48), to life imprisonment for the murder of his ex-wife. In addition to declaring him unfit to possess a firearm, the court made an order for Mxosa’s children with the deceased and their maternal grandmother to be given psycho-social counselling and any other support by the Department of Social Development.

Mxosa hacked his ex-wife to death with a bush knife inside his house in the Correctional Services precinct of West Bank Prison Quarters in East London on 01 March 2022. He committed the heinous act in front of their nine-year-old daughter, who had accompanied her mother to fetch clothing from his premises. The couple had legally divorced before in 2019 but maintained their relations as a customary wedded couple, and they visited each other’s homes. Before the day of the incident, the deceased had broken up with Mxosa again because he had physically abused her. He arrived and asked the deceased whether she was leaving him for good. When she did not answer, Mxosa pretended as if he was assisting her fetch shoes under a bed but took out a bush knife and fatally attacked her.

The daughter ran away and alerted the community to what she had witnessed. Mxosa was arrested the same day while drinking alcohol with his friends at a nearby shopping mall. During the trial, he pleaded not guilty and claimed that his daughter was imagining things and had been coached by her maternal grandmother to implicate him.

State Advocate Andile Nohiya, prayed for the imposition of the prescribed minimum sentence of life imprisonment arguing that femicide and gender-based violence are rife in our society and deserve harsh sentences, more especially given that Mxosa was a Correctional Officer for 14 years, tasked with ensuring that offenders of similar crimes are rehabilitated.

Eastern Cape Director of Public Prosecutions, Barry Madolo, commended the investigating officer and the prosecutor for ensuring that one of the law enforcement officials faces the full might of the law.

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