The Mpumalanga Division of the High Court convicted and sentenced Thembi Promise Simelane (41), from Daantjie to 20 years direct imprisonment for stabbing her spouse Thulani Wonder Vilakazi (53), to death. The court further declared the accused unfit to possess a firearm under the Firearms Control Act 60 of 2000. This is after Simelane entered into a plea sentence agreement with the state. In her plea explanation, Simelane admitted that on the evening of 14 January 2023, she and the deceased were hosting visitors at their home in Daartjie, in the district of Nsikazi, and they were all having alcoholic beverages and listening to music.

After the visitors left, she remained with the deceased and their two minor children. She stated that she asked the deceased to switch off the radio and the deceased refused. During a verbal altercation, she stabbed the deceased twice with a knife and he fell on the floor. Their two minor children woke up and discovered that their father was on the floor bleeding. After the incident, neighbours and emergency services were called to the scene, and the deceased was declared dead. She was eventually arrested hence her conviction and sentence.

In aggravation of sentence Advocate Zwelethu Mata, addressed the court that daily, we hear of women and children being violated by men for reasons that are not worthy even to repeat, let alone to be pronounced, however, the accused’s case highlights the reality of domestic violence perpetrated against man as well. Advocate Mata further told the court that the accused misdeed has left behind two young children orphaned and must adjust to living with other family members and accept that they will never see their father in their lives. When handing down the sentence, the court found that the plea and sentence agreement was just and fair and indeed there were compelling circumstances which justified a sentence other than the prescribed minimum sentence.

The National Prosecuting Authority acknowledged the sentence and further applauded the prosecutor and the investigating officer for the speedy finalisation of the matter.

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