Forgive me, pleads killer cop

2012-06-13 22:34
Johannesburg - A former police constable who shot dead his girlfriend's mother and seriously wounded his girlfriend, their son and another boy appeared in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday.

Turning to relatives of his victims attending his trial, former tracing unit policeman Nnkatji Johannes Moteane asked the Ntuli family to forgive him for the grief he had caused.

Moteane would be sentenced on Friday.

"I love Yvonne [Ntuli, his girlfriend]. What I did was not intentional," Moteane said in court.

He was earlier found guilty on a charge of murder and three of attempted murder after admitting that in March last year he shot Yvonne Ntuli, her mother Martha, their 4-year-old son Mfundu, and his son's 9-year-old cousin Boy Boy.

Martha Ntuli was shot three times and died on the scene. The three others were hospitalised with multiple gunshot wounds. He shot Yvonne nine times.

A social worker, Annette Vergeer, told the court on Wednesday that Moteane had been in a relationship with Ntuli since she was 13.

"She still visited him in jail and felt responsible for what had happened this day," Vergeer said.

This was despite the fact that he had shot their son in the head and that she had partially lost the use of her one hand. She was still receiving treatment.

Moteane said in his plea explanation he and Yvonne had a volatile relationship. He suspected her of being unfaithful and was distressed because she went out drinking and neglected her duties as a mother.

On the day of the crimes, he saw another man leaving her house. He lost his temper when Yvonne made him wait outside and her mother ordered him to leave the house.

According to Moteane, he then emptied his service pistol into the four before turning the gun on himself, only to find it was empty. Relatives stopped him from committing suicide when he went home to fetch another magazine.

Vergeer testified that Moteane came from a stable family, was a hard working father and had never before showed signs of violence. She said the stress of his job and the volatile nature of his relationship contributed to his behaviour that day.

Martha Ntuli's sister Lizzie testified she found it difficult to forgive Moteane as she was still angry about what he had done, as he never expressed remorse.

Moteane's lawyer Piet Pistorius argued the court should not break Moteane by sending him to prison for too long. He said Moteane had not planned the attack, but simply had enough of life on that day. He now wished he could turn back the clock so that he could have reacted differently.

Prosecutor Jennifer Cronje argued Ntuli was no ordinary man on the street, but a trained police officer who had cold-bloodedly shot four people because he was angry. She urged the court to jail Moteane for at least 20 years.

- SAPA
Read more on:    police
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