News24

Life sentence appeal overturned

2012-03-26 20:15

Cape Town - The Western Cape High Court on Monday dismissed the appeal of a man who was handed a life sentence for murdering his ex-girlfriend in Cape Town, the national prosecuting authority said.

Spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said Sydney Mangena, 51, appealed the sentence on the basis that his personal circumstances were not properly considered.

His counsel also believed the court over-emphasised the seriousness of the offence and the interests of society.

Judges Andre le Grange, Willem Louw and Dumisani Zondi were tasked with handling the appeal. They concluded there was no evidence to suggest Mangena was in a heightened emotional state of mind.

"The unfortunate fact of the matter is that all too frequently the use of firearms to maim and kill is resorted to where people are frustrated in the attainment of their own selfish wants and desires."

Le Grange ruled that the approach of the court in sentencing could not be criticised.

"The result is a penalty which is balanced, fair and entirely appropriate in these circumstances."

Mangena was sentenced by the same court last August for shooting Oceania Vuso in the heart, head and back in 2004. On the day of the shooting, he drove 800km from Colesberg to Cape Town to kill Vuso because he could not accept that she had ended the relationship.

He tracked her down to a friend's apartment at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. She fled with a friend and hid outside the apartment. He found her and shot her dead.

Mangena was handed a year's sentence each for assaulting two of his and Vuso's friends and another year, or R4 000 fine, for pointing a gun at her friend.

Ntabazalila welcomed the dismissal, saying the NPA had argued in aggravation of sentence as only life imprisonment was appropriate.