Murderous wife, lover get 24 years in jail
Pretoria - A police captain's wife who talked her lover into murdering her husband wept after a North Gauteng High Court judge in Pretoria jailed both of them on Tuesday for 24 years.
Judge Jody Kollapen imposed the sentences on Margaret Thole, 29, and her lover Kabelo Molopyane, 30, for the September 2008 murder of Thole's husband, Captain Charles Thole.
The 50-year-old Captain Thole, a former MK soldier and member of the police's VIP protection unit, died after being shot in the head at the spaza shop he ran from his home in Mamelodi West.
The court heard evidence that Thole and her lover had hatched a plan to murder her husband at a party earlier that day.
Thole claimed during her evidence in mitigation that her husband had often assaulted her, but his mother, Daisy Thole, testified that Thole had never complained about assaults.
She said her son, whose right hand had been amputated during his time in exile, had often complained that his wife was never home and neglected her household duties and she had actually witnessed Thole assaulting her son.
Molopyane claimed during his evidence that Captain Thole had still been alive when he left the spaza shop that day.
He complained to the court that Thole had punched him and tried to pour boiling water over him at court after he implicated her in her husband's murder.
Judge Kollapen described the murder as heinous.
Molopyane betrayed the trust of his close friendship with Captain Thole and his mistress betrayed the trust that flowed out of a marriage.
The judge said even if Thole's marriage had been characterised by physical abuse, there were other options open to her to get out of her marriage.
It was also aggravating that the deceased, a loving father, had been snatched from his family.
His untimely death continued to leave a scar on his family and especially his two young children who were in the house when he was shot and who found his body.
In mitigation the judge found the two accused had been involved in a serious and passionate relationship.
He said if one had regard to the letters Thole wrote to Molopyane from jail it seemed she had become obsessed with him.
This might have been a factor that affected her judgment at the end of the day, Kollapen said.
He said it appeared as if Molopyane was initially reluctant to become involved in the crime but that his resistance crumbled under Thole's pressure.