Cape cop gets life for pumping ex's body with bullets

2017-03-14 18:36
The Western Cape High Court in Cape Town. (Paul Herman, News24)

The Western Cape High Court in Cape Town. (Paul Herman, News24)

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Cape Town - Busiswa Centane worked as a home affairs official in Cape Town so that she could build a life for herself and her two daughters.

Instead, the 37-year-old mom's life was cut short in 2014 when her ex-lover, a police officer, used his service pistol in an attack outside her house that left her with 42 gunshot wounds and killed her instantly.

That same day they had been set to appear in court for a protection order she obtained against him.

On Tuesday, almost three years later, Lindani Nakani was sentenced to life in jail for her murder by the Western Cape High Court.

For Centane's sister Nomvuyo, and other family members in the courtroom, there was finally closure.

They were happy and relieved that justice had been done.

"She used to tell us [about the abuse] or call us when there was a problem," Nomvuyo recalled, remembering a time when she witnessed Nakani swearing at her sister.

"Although our sister is not going to come back, we forgive him."

Abuse claims

Judge Nolwazi Boqwana had a lot to say about the prevalence of domestic violence, calling it a "scourge" that should not be treated lightly.

She said Nakani was a police officer who defied a court order, planned the murder and used all the bullets in his magazine.

"He breached the order and did the opposite of what he was told. He did precisely what the interdict sought to prevent.

"It borders on crimes of vengeance as opposed to [crimes of] passion."

Nakani, 38, alleged that he suffered abuse for many years in his relationship with Centane, claiming she slept around and failed to disclose her HIV status to him.

What apparently pushed him over the edge, Boqwana said, was when he found out he would have to hand in his service pistol as part of the protection order.

Defendant should have 'walked away'

"Having his firearm on his person was important because he could work overtime and meet his financial responsibilities," she said, referring to his other children in the Eastern Cape.

"[According to] his version, it led him to a heightened reaction that led him to shoot her dead."

She said he should have walked away from the relationship if the deceased was so "horrific".

It was also easier because they were not married and had no biological children together.

"I do not accept that the accused was a victim. At best, both parties mistreated or hurt each other in some way or another."

Nomvuyo commented outside court that Nakani had lied under oath about her sister's character because he knew she would not be able to defend herself.

Final wave

The judge said that Nakani had come across as intelligent but did not show real remorse or take the court into his confidence.

She was aware that he was young and that his young children would now grow up without a father.

However, she could not find any substantial and compelling circumstances to deviate from life imprisonment.

Nakani bit his lips as sentence was handed down.

He waved at someone in the public gallery and lingered as long as he could before being taken down to the police cells.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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