10 years for jealous killer

2010-02-01 00:00

A UTRECHT man, who was so enraged when the mother of his three children passionately embraced another man that he burnt her to death in 2005, was jailed for 10 years by Acting Judge Wendy Hughes-Madondo in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Friday.

He surrendered to the police two weeks ago and admitted his culpability.

The man, Siyabonga Wiseman Kathide (26), said in a statement read by his counsel Kevin Singh, that he struck her to the ground and set her alight. She burnt to death.

He fled, taking a one-year-old child with him, and spent the night at a river. The next day he left the child at his former lover’s house and went to Ladysmith, where he lived with relatives.

He said that when a policeman asked where he had been at the time of her murder, he denied all knowledge of it.

He tried to forget but in time he was unable to live with his guilt.

The judge said that the mitigating factors outweighed the aggravating factors, and she found substantial and compelling factors so that she could depart from the prescribed 15-year jail sentence.

Factors in his favour were that he was angered at seeing his former lover embracing another man, that he had done the right thing by confessing, that he worked to support his five children, that he had to live with his conscience, and may have to face rejection by his children.

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