Man gets 20 years for killing baby

2011-02-22 09:52

Pietermaritzburg - A man who murdered his lover’s 10-month-old baby boy by slamming the child’s head against a wall and fracturing his skull in a fit of rage and jealousy, has been jailed for 20 years.

Passing sentence on Mduduzi Sphamandla Mpanza, of Msingingazi reserve near Richards Bay on Monday, Judge Rishi Seegobin said the baby’s murder would have a devastating and traumatic effect on the baby’s mother.

“When people behave in this fashion, the public requires effective sanctions against the perpetrators of such savagery,” the judge said.

Although the court found compelling and substantial circumstances in favour of the accused, the judge said Mpanza had shown no respect for human life and the only appropriate sentence was a long prison term.


Mitigating factors found by the court were that the killing was not premeditated, but a spontaneous reaction to Mpanza’s discovery that his lover had gone out with her boyfriend when he arrived to visit her, and that he acted in a fit of rage and jealousy.

The judge likened his behaviour to that of a “madman”.

In aggravation, the court said, Mpanza had chosen to vent his anger on an innocent and defenceless baby.

“I find it most difficult to accept that he could not control his anger at the time and take up any issue he had with the child’s mother, rather than vent his anger on the baby,” the judge declared. “But that is what he did and he needs to go to jail for a very long time.”

Pleading guilty last week, Mpanza said the baby was the child of his former girlfriend, Nonhlanhla Mbuli.

Even though he was no longer in a “love relationship” with her, they still engaged in sex and she had led him to believe they would reconcile, he said.

On the night of February 1, after he had been drinking, Mpanza said he went to see Mbuli and was told she had gone out with the baby’s father.

In anger he tried to assault the woman looking after the child, and when she fled, he grabbed the sleeping baby and hit him against a wall.

  • Pamela - 2011-02-22 09:57

    20 years???? Are you kidding me??? He is completely unstable. Get him out of society forever!!!

      Anusha - 2011-02-22 10:46


      Boychild - 2011-02-22 11:04

      Agreed Pamela, bring back the Death Penalty and make it mandatory for specific crimes including Rape & Murder. Rather 10 innocent men sentenced to death than 1 guilty man released to continue murdering and raping.....

      Katlego - 2011-02-22 11:23

      Boychild, you are the crazy one here.

      Boychild - 2011-02-22 13:01

      Why Katlego, because I would rather face having an innocent wrongfully convicted and killed than have a guilty person walk free........ In the USA from 1976 - 2000 approximately 6000 people were Sentenced to Death while only 500 of those sentenced were executed. New DNA testing and other factors have resulted in approximately 82 convictions being overturned for wrongful convition and 167 commuted to Life Sentences. With a 4.15% error margin this would mean that 1 in 20 wrongful convictions can be expected. Bring back the death penalty!!! Do you still say I am crazy?????

      Valkerie - 2011-02-22 13:50

      @ Boychild: Yup, still do. "With a 4.15% error margin this would mean that 1 in 20 wrongful convictions can be expected." This is one in twenty too many. What if this was one of your family or a friend? Death penalty is surely a better option for repeat offenders - no repeats! But practical implimentation will see you in a quagmire of human rights issues. Our constitution will never allow it, and our DNA testing facilities are just not up to the job. Added to that, bribery and corruption before the trials even commence will see the case contaminated. Start with the police and the courts. Get the ground work done first.

      Worldwise - 2011-02-22 17:35

      @Boychild. What if you're the wrongly accused? Still like to see the death penalty for the wrongly accused?

      ivory - 2011-03-04 09:15

      A child gets raped, the rapist gets 25 years, A child gets murdered, the murderer gets 20 years behind bars. How does this make any sense?

  • finakato - 2011-02-22 10:02

    no this is digusting ,he needed life sentence killing an inocent baby, he must rod in jail,

      KyleAssassin - 2011-02-22 10:39

      Rod in jail, I'm sure he will get a lot of "ROD" in jail.

  • Han Solo - 2011-02-22 10:02

    Disgusting. He should be hanged.

  • CharlSkeptic - 2011-02-22 10:06

    This is why normal folk dont trust the LAW...... the perpetrator should be put down like a terminally ill dog but he gets an extended holiday in a jail cell with 3 meals a day. Hopfully his 'daddy' in jail will not be jealous and share him with all his buddies

  • Samantha - 2011-02-22 10:27

    Even if we did get the death penalty back, I don't know what a person would have to do to get it, as killing a baby gets you a max of 20 years, and you get about 3 years for rape, and then on top of that, you get off early for "good behaviour" (in other words, the cells are too full, so you get to go home).

  • Caeser - 2011-02-22 10:27

    Prison for 20 years is miniscual. We can pass comments and judgement, but in the end he still needs to appear before the ultimate Judge. God forgives our sins, but rest assured He despises sins against children. Do not harm the innocent and let the children come unto Me. I will cast my vengeance against those that harm them and to those that do not become like children will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

      Han Solo - 2011-02-22 11:26

      Yeah well your fantastic all powerful god allowed this to happen. And you still believe in him? *shakes head sadly* Leave your fairy tales at home.

      DrGräfenberg - 2011-02-22 11:46

      All hail Han Solo

      Worldwise - 2011-02-22 17:42

      Your all powerful God allowed all the first born children to be killed by a crazy king in Moses' time. As an all powerful God he could have prevented this infanticide. This same God played a cruel pyschological game on Abraham by ordering him to burn his son Isaac on an altar and at the last moment said "No its OK, you don't have to, I was only testing you". And this is a loving God? Get real, this guy will kill you just because he loves you.

  • dbngirl2011 - 2011-02-22 10:31

    That is just abolutely sickening! Hope this man doesnt live longer than 20 years.... hope he gets punished in jail.....BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY!!

  • Victor - 2011-02-22 10:38

    Judge Rishi Seegobin, shame on you! This man will one day walk free while his innocent victim is no more. Yep, life is cheap in South Africa... even in our courts!!

  • Melly30 - 2011-02-22 10:40

    20 years ... What a joke! Poor little boy!!! I hope that the killer gets raped every night in jail and I hope WE all hear your screams you sick prick!

  • katfiro - 2011-02-22 10:50

    i am embarrassed that this is what our law thinks is a fair exchange for the life of a baby!!!! shrien dewani should come stand trial here if this is what sentences are being handed out for murder. he will probably only get 10 years,or less!!!!

  • izaanb - 2011-02-22 10:54

    20 years? Is that what a young life is worth? fuck afria. Seriously.

      Currie_Mafia - 2011-02-22 11:07

      Who is Afria, & why do u wanna f#ck her ?!!!

      brentswsa - 2011-02-22 12:02

      @Currie_Mafia Out of all the attempts to make a joke on news24 today. Yours is seriously the worst I've read!

  • Sarah - 2011-02-22 11:00


      Worldwise - 2011-02-22 17:47

      Sarah, the caps lock key on your computer is located between the shift and tab keys on the left. A light also usually indicates when caps lock is on. Did they allow you to write in caps all the time at school?

  • Currie_Mafia - 2011-02-22 11:05

    Agree or Disagree, the perp was caught & justice was served...The Judge was in a better position to pass down this sentence than you or I...

      John Juggle - 2011-02-22 11:51

      @Currie_Mafia, it seems like you want to sympathise with him or defend his actions? Justice was not served. Justice will be served if someone can find a 300mm diameter wooden pole and jam it up his @ss and let him bleed to death.

      Victor - 2011-02-22 12:00

      The sad thing is that I can hardly remember some judge passing down a life sentence. You take a boys head and you willingly bash it till he dies, thats murder and not deserving of the 20 years (in which he might only serve 10-15 years of his sentence) he got. Sorry but life is very cheap in South Africa. This seems to be the view of both criminal and justice individuals.

  • madcow - 2011-02-22 11:15

    Get meanest, toughest , sickest human being you can find to slam his head againts the wall. Case closed!

  • wattalotokak - 2011-02-22 11:16

    I am a father and I am at a loss of words...! How can the judge pass such a judgement??? This case should have been at least a showcase for other cases such as this one..! Is THIS the best that can be done in SA??? Wait I hear something - Shabir's name is coming up! This is a law-less country...! Shame on SA.

      Subzer0 - 2011-02-22 16:01

      Law-less but the man was caught and is now serving a jail sentence? Shabir as much as i dont agree with his "release" did not end an innocent persons life so how do the two scenarios compare?

  • Quinton - 2011-02-22 11:27

    Death Penalty!

  • ZACKIE - 2011-02-22 11:36

    he got an easy sentence he should have his head bashed against a brick wall for a few hours to feel the effects

  • John Juggle - 2011-02-22 11:48

    He is an animal, with no respect for life. A f##king baboon that should have his head smashed in jail.

      Worldwise - 2011-02-22 17:50

      Animals don't commit crimes like these. They also don't rape their offspring. He is not an animal but the worst type of creature - a human.

  • AJ - 2011-02-22 11:52

    A murderer getting 4 times less jail time than his victim would likely have lived.

  • Spoofed - 2011-02-22 11:52

    i really am sick and tired of this wretched world we live in. not just south africa.. the entire world is freaking nuts. What happened to caring for one another? it's all about money and power. I hope in silence that the end of this wretched world will come soon! i'm ready to go.. so so ready

  • James - 2011-02-22 11:55

    death penalty for murder but not rape. this guy must die too.

  • Wesley - 2011-02-22 12:06

    Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but does the sentence imposed not have to do with the sentence pushed for by the attourney of the mother of the child? Also the fact that he pleaded guilty may affect this. I'm not sure that a stricter penalty could have been implimented by the judge if those in question did not apply for one. But like I say, I am by no means a law expert. Just trying to understand why on earth a murderer only receives a 20 year sentence

  • Chaanah - 2011-02-22 12:09

    20 years. In 20 years that little baby would have been a young adult with his life ahead of him. In 20 years this murderer will still have some life ahead of him if they don't sort him out in prison or he doesn't get out before then. One of the earlier posts said it best - "Life is cheap in Africa". It's a sad truth.

  • SK - 2011-02-22 12:16

    Death penalty would be nice, but 20 years is not bad considering the law in this country, he could have just walked away.Gonna be made someones wife in there.

  • ji - 2011-02-22 12:21


  • wgibsonsa - 2011-02-22 12:21

    Another day in Africa. KILL, KILL, KILL. Kill the boer, kill the baby, rape, steal, rob, torture etc. This will never end. Absolute bunch of prehistory savages. Orks.

      Sue - 2011-02-22 13:04

      wgibsonsa - Even in prehistoric times- people were more civilised than some of the crap in our country. And the way things are going and being run by our *&^%$% it is going to end up as CRAP. What the hell are we going to have just to survive in this sinking ship.

  • Snoopy88 - 2011-02-22 13:28

    Mitigating factor! That's the most heinous murder.. taking it out on a defenceless little baby..

      moiraine - 2011-02-22 18:43

      exactly Snoopy is it a mitigating factor that you were angry? When I am angry I slam the door sometimes or shout at people or some people might actually punch the wall. (I dont too sore on the knuckles) I certainly dont pick up the nearest baby and smash its head against the wall!

  • kaps - 2011-02-22 14:01

    twenty years is not enough,why not 50years

  • theone - 2011-02-22 14:23

    the government should wake up from their slumbering and simple bring back the death penality.

  • BeverleyDuPreez - 2011-02-22 15:41

    Damn irritating that I know my taxes are now going to feed this scum for the next 20 years. Mind you, maybe not so long, they don't tolerate child killers in the prison system!

  • DebbyLou - 2011-02-22 16:29

    20 years??? It's not enough! It's crazy ...

  • Brent - 2011-02-22 19:30

    That is not an excuse...this prick should be put to death...bring back the death penalty. But even if he lives his sentence out, God has a very special and tormenting place in hell for people who abuse and murder children and babies!!!

  • Picasso - 2011-02-23 08:19

    Burn him alive, bastard!

  • jarryd.hector - 2011-02-28 10:02

    This is why we need the death sentence brought back. Innocent chilren are getting hurt by Sick people every day, and they simply go to jail for a short term, and are back on the streets to do it all again.

  • andaliyema - 2011-03-04 13:15

    now here goes a wrierd one about our constitution, i just read a story abt a "nanny" who got life on jail for raping a boy, now to my surprise, on this one, a man is only given a nisurable 20yrs behind bars? how the hell does this work? hay shame i for one am very confused!

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