Pastor fears for Zimbabwean killer's kids

2013-06-08 11:08

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Pretoria - A pastor on Friday told the High Court in Pretoria she was concerned about the remaining children of a Zimbabwean mechanic who killed his 3-year-old son.

Pastor Nerine Adams of the Salvation Army in Pretoria's city centre testified that three of convicted killer Vincent Mugwagwa's children were not attending school.

It was almost impossible to get them back to school because they did not have papers allowing them to stay in South Africa.

On Monday, the 54-year-old mechanic was found guilty of killing his three-year-old son with a pick-axe handle.

Mugwagwa testified he came to South Africa in 2010 after losing his job in Zimbabwe. He was later joined by his wife and the four younger children.

The day of the crime, his wife accused him of being unfaithful. He chased her and the children out of the house, and followed them to a neighbour's house, where there was a pick-axe handle in the yard.

"I don't know how it happened. I did not believe it when they told me I was going to be arrested... I don't have an explanation for what I did that day," he told the court on Monday.

Spiritual guidance

Mugwagwa's wife of 29 years, Dorica Chipeta, pleaded with the court on Monday not to send him to jail because she and the children needed his financial support.

On Friday, Adams said the church supported Mugwagwa's wife with food and some parishioners gave her money, but they could not continue doing so indefinitely.

She said Mugwagwa was welcome in the church, where he could receive spiritual guidance and do community service by working in the garden, but this could not be guaranteed for an extended period.

Adams expressed concern about how Mugwagwa would be able to support his wife and eight remaining children as he would not be paid for doing community work at the church.

The church was also unable to provide him with housing, which meant he would have to move back with his wife and children.

Judge Nico Coetzee postponed the trial to June 19 for a probation officer's report.

- SAPA
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