The Sibasa Regional Court convicted and sentenced Thendo Brian Mukwevho (37) to 20 years imprisonment for the murder of his girlfriend, Sarinah Makhura. The conviction and sentence emanated from an incident that took place on 04 February 2017 at Mangondi village, outside of Thohoyandou. Makhura and the accused were in a love triangle.

During the trial, the accused pleaded not guilty to the charge put against him. The Senior Public Prosecutor, Ndiitwani Mutangwa led the testimony of the elder sister and the Makhura’s children who testified how the accused used to abuse their mother.

The children further told the court that they left their homestead at Tshwinga, and went to their aunt at Mangondi village as Makhura felt unsafe to spend another night at her home. During the night, the witnesses overheard a cellphone conversation between the accused and Makhura. They were quarrelling and the woman was addressing the accused by his name. She was heard remarking that you are not going to kill me. The following day, the woman met the accused while walking on the street, the accused then attacked her and stabbed her to death. She was later found by her daughter with stab wounds on the chest.

In aggravation of the sentence, the SPP, Mutangwa called the Headman of Tshwinga village, Mmbangiseni Tshishonga who told the court that his community is against Gender-Based Violence. The Headman further told the court that he is assisting the deceased’s three children by referring them to the relevant institution for assistance. He concluded by asking the court to impose a lengthy period of imprisonment for the senseless killing of a woman that left children orphaned.

In arguing for the sentence, the prosecutor submitted that the court should exercise its powers by imposing five more years above the minimum sentence of 15 years. He submitted that there were no substantial and compelling circumstances justifying a lesser sentence because the accused did not even display signs of remorse. The court concurred with the state and sentenced the accused to 20 years of direct imprisonment.

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Ivy Thenga, welcomed the sentence and hoped that the imposed sentence would send a strong message to would-be offenders and further commended prosecutor Mutangwa and the Investigating Officer for their good work.

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