Dad who hanged his two children gets 40 years

2010-11-26 00:00

A man who hanged two children, including his newborn son, in the Osizweni area near Newcastle last April, burst into tears after being sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment for each of the murders by high court Judge Ron McLaren in Ladysmith yesterday.

The judge ordered the two sentences to run concurrently.

He earlier found Mzwandile Mtshali (29) guilty of killing his six-year-old stepdaughter, Msikelelo Mntambo, and his biological son, Nkosikhona (21 days old), by hanging them with a rope from a rafter in the home of his father, Jabulane Mtshali.

The murders were committed on April 21 last year.

Mtshali, who pleaded not guilty at the start of the trial, chose not to testify in his defence and the motive for the murders remains unknown.

The court accepted however that he was emotionally disturbed at the time and found there was no evidence proving that the murders were premeditated.

The state alleged in its indictment that the reason for the murders was the discord that arose in the relationship between Mtshali and the children’s mother, Busisiwe Mntambo, which had caused him to demand that her family repay him his lobola money.

Mntambo told the court in her evidence that prior to the murders Mtshali had started abusing alcohol. He also accused her of infidelity.

The court heard that on the day in question Mtshali fetched his son from Mntambo’s home and told her he wanted the child’s grandmother to see the baby.

When she protested that it was cold outside he instructed her to wrap the baby in a blanket, which she did.

He left with Nkosikhona and she never saw her son alive again.

The court heard that Mtshali also collected Msikelelo Mntambo from the Iziko Primary school where she was in grade one.

Both children were subsequently found hanged.

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