Traffic cop begs for forgiveness

2012-05-22 00:00

TRAFFIC officer Lebohang Justice Molefe (34) begged his ex-wife, Londeka, for forgiveness yesterday for shooting her twice in the face in 2010, but she told the high court in Pietermaritzburg she can’t forgive him.

Judge Isaac Madondo is expected to pass sentence today after weighing the evidence and various pre-sentencing reports.

Defence advocate Louis Barnard urged the court to impose a suspended sentence of around 10 years’ imprisonment on Molefe, coupled with correctional supervision and financial compensation.

He said this would address the victim’s fear of the accused and could help to pay her future medical expenses and possibly for counselling, which she had not received to date.

He submitted it was clear from Londeka Molefe’s own evidence and that of the accused’s work colleagues that he was not normally violent, and that the incident was sparked by the couple’s “bad relationship”.

In her testimony Londeka said she did not believe her ex-husband’s remorse was genuine, but was intended to “protect himself” and get a lower sentence.

Molefe was convicted of shooting her twice in her face at close range on April 29, 2010, during an argument at her mother’s home in Oribi Village.

State advocate Suhanna Singh submitted it was “miraculous” that she survived.

Londeka showed the court where two bullets entered the right side of her face and exited on the left side.

Asked how she feels about what Molefe did she replied: “I feel very sad. Further, I am scared of him, and I am sad because I no longer look the way that I did before … I also feel emotional when people show sympathy to me.”

She testified that she suffers from low esteem, feels “ashamed” when people look at her and has to wear make-up to hide the scars on her face. She also can no longer properly open her mouth because some fractures of her facial bones have not yet healed and there are “some dislocations”. She can only chew with the left side of her jaw.

Londeka said she had not received any counselling because she couldn’t afford it.

Her family had paid her initial medical bills and her ex-husband had not supported her or their two children financially since the incident. She is currently working.

She initially denied he’d paid child maintenance of R1 000 this month in terms of their divorce settlement, but was shown a document by the defence indicating he’d made the payment to the Dundee court on Friday.

Londeka said she does not want financial compensation.

Earlier Molefe took the witness stand in mitigation of sentence and told the court he wanted to apologise to his ex-wife.

The couple divorced last month.

“I am very remorseful … I would long ago have apologised to her, but it’s just that I was not allowed to do so [in terms of his bail conditions].”

Molefe said he was ashamed of his actions, had sought help for anger management and was receiving psychiatric treatment from three doctors. He was on medication.

He said he had already asked the Department of Transport to transfer him to Newcastle to start a new life away from his ex-wife, if he doesn’t go to jail, as she then would not have to be afraid.

“I will leave her in peace as I have done for the past two years.” He said he had tried to offer support to his children, but his ex-wife wanted nothing to do with him.

• ingrido@witness.co.za

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