Metro cop strangler gets 18 years

2015-02-19 21:28
(Picture: City of Tshwane)

(Picture: City of Tshwane)

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Pretoria - A Tshwane metro policeman who strangled his girlfriend and burnt her body was sentenced on Thursday to 18 years imprisonment by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

Lloyd Marutse Maleswena, 29, showed no emotion when Judge Mmonoa Teffo sentenced him to more than the minimum of 15 years imprisonment for the murder of Claudia Rapudi, 24, in November 2011.

Although Teffo found Maleswena had not planned the murder, she said he had foreseen Rapudi's death when he strangled her.

Rapudi graduated as a metro police constable a few months before her death and was Maleswena's colleague.

Her charred remains were found in the boot of her burnt-out car in bushes next to the Cullinan road on the same day her car was last seen at Maleswena's house in Lotus Gardens, Pretoria.

Police had to use DNA tests to confirm her identity.

Maleswena was arrested after making a confession about the murder to a Zion Christian Church priest.

Maleswena admitted in a statement to strangling Rapudi after a lover's quarrel. He confronted her about his suspicion that she was seeing another man and a heated argument ensued when she denied it.

He grabbed her by her throat until she lost consciousness before locking the house and going to work.

He panicked when he found her body on his return, put her in the boot of her car, drove to a secluded place and set the car alight.

No remorse

Teffo said Maleswena killed his girlfriend on the suspicion that she was unfaithful to him. It was aggravating that he had shown no remorse.

"The accused did not go to the deceased's family there and then to say I'm sorry. He had the opportunity when he went to them during the funeral arrangements to say that he's sorry about what he did," Teffo said.

"Genuine remorse should not only come after the arrest. It could be that he now realises he faces a long term of imprisonment.

Teffo stressed that violent conduct could no longer be tolerated in South African society and said courts had to convey the message to prospective criminals that such conduct was unacceptable.

She added that Sithole was violent and declared him unfit to possess a firearm.

Rapudi's cousin Clevio Rapudi said her family was happy that Maleswena had been jailed, but had expected a higher sentence.

As Christians they had already forgiven Maleswena, but it did not mean he should not go to prison for a very long time.

He felt Maleswena's demeanour in court and the way in which he had looked at the family in a "demeaning" manner, proved he had no real remorse.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  crime

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