Pretoria spade killer 'liked victim'
Pretoria - A gardener who admitted to beating a Pretoria woman to death with a spade in a hired killing told the North Gauteng High Court on Wednesday that he liked his victim.
Lucas Moloi, 35, of QwaQwa in the Free State, testified in mitigation of sentence.
He said it had not been his plan to kill Cordelia Prinsloo at her house in Kameeldrift in October 2009, but that Prinsloo's ex-husband, Cobus, had "pushed" him to do it.
Moloi said Prinsloo offered him R50 000 and a house to kill his wife, an air hostess, even though he and Cordelia had a very good relationship and he liked her.
Moloi said he came from a humble background and earned a meagre salary working for a security company in Rustenburg.
Prinsloo offered him a better paying job in Pretoria several months before the murder.
Moloi said Prinsloo promised him no one would ever know about the murder because he would make sure no one ever found the body.
Moloi believed he would get away with murder.
"With the benefit of hindsight I've learnt my lesson and I will never do something like this again," he said.
"It was the very first time I was involved in this kind of situation. I promise I will come out of prison a better person."
Moloi said he was sorry about what he did and asked the victim's family and friends to forgive him.
He revealed that he had been receiving treatment for HIV and tuberculosis since being diagnosed earlier this year.
Moloi said he was willing to testify for the State in Prinsloo's trial, which began before another judge this week.
Moloi's lawyer, Justice Mogotsi, said there were mitigating factors, including that his client was a first offender, admitted guilt and was remorseful.
He argued that Moloi should be sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment.
Prosecutor Josie van der Westhuysen asked for a much longer term of imprisonment for what she described as a carefully planned and cold-blooded contract killing.
She argued that Moloi agreed to kill an innocent beautiful woman with whom he had a good relationship with for money, which was extremely reprehensible.
Judge Winston Msimeki will sentence Moloi on Thursday.