The Pretoria High Court sentenced a mother Lehlogonolo Mary Bokaba (29), from Saulsville, Pretoria to 10 years direct imprisonment each for 2 counts of murder for killing her two girl children. A two-month-old infant and an 8-year-old minor. The court ordered that the sentences should run concurrently. This is after she pleaded guilty to the charges preferred against her on 13 May 2024. Bokaba was in a love relationship with the father of the 2-month-old baby and was staying with him in his back room in his parent’s backyard. While the two were still in a relationship, Bokaba discovered that the husband was continuously cheating on her, and he was also not assisting her with the children.

On 12 May 2022, she decided to leave her husband and called her mother to help her move on 14 May 2022. However, when she woke up on the morning of 14 May 2022, she told the court in her plea statement that she felt overwhelmed with the state of her relationship with her husband and decided to kill herself and her children by hanging them with a cord to save them from the consequence of growing up without a mother. After hanging and killing the children, she attempted to commit suicide by also hanging herself but was unsuccessful. She then untied the children, placed them on the bed, and buzzed her mother-in-law. The incident was discovered by the mother-in-law after received a missed call from Bokaba and Bokaba had not gone to her in-law’s house to prepare food for the children. When the mother-in-law went to the backroom to check, she found the bodies of the children on top of the bed. Police were called and Bokaba was arrested and has been in custody since.

In court during the sentencing proceeding advocate Piet Luyt argued in aggravation that, Bokaba committed a serious offence which resulted in loss of life of two minor children and severe emotional trauma for the victims’ families who are still suffering from unresolved trauma. When handing down the sentence Judge Mashudu Munzhelele found that there were substantial and compelling circumstances to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence of 15 years because Bokaba did not waste the court’s time, she pleaded guilty, and she was a first-time offender. Furthermore, the judge said Bokama committed the offences under emotional distress. She also made a plea that information should be made available to help women who feel they don’t have a way out.

The NPA welcomes the sentence.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *