Killer was jailed for two other murders

2010-05-13 00:00

A MAN who pleaded guilty yesterday to murdering his lover of 20 years and attempting to murder her 18-year-old daughter at Newcastle in March, was previously convicted for the murder of a former girlfriend as well as her child, the high court in Pietermaritzburg heard yesterday.

In connection with those murders, Penuel Moses Nhlapo (41) was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment in terms of legislation requiring that he serve a portion of the sentence in jail before qualifying for release under correctional supervision.

These facts were placed before Judge Mohini Murugasen (with two assessors), by state advocate Pretty-Girl Ngcobo, who has urged the court to impose the minimum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment — for a second offence of unpremeditated murder — on Nhlapo for the murder of Mamile Madide.

He admitted yesterday that he stabbed Madide four times in her heart and lungs during a heated argument at Osizweni on March 15, when he said she admitted she had been unfaithful to him.

He also stabbed her daughter Ayanda Mtshali (18) twice when she ran into the room in response to her mother’s screaming.

Nhlapo said, in a statement read to the court on his behalf by his attorney, Kelvin Singh, that he stabbed Mtshali before he realised that she was not a danger to him.

He was overcome by the enormity of what he had done and fled. He was arrested in Gauteng.

Singh has urged the court to consider that Nhlapo is remorseful for what he did as shown by his guilty plea, and submitted that he should not be “punished twice” for his previous convictions.

He further submitted that he was provoked by Madide’s admission of infidelity and the fact that she “questioned his manhood” when she taunted him.

According to Nhlapo, he was enraged and slapped her across her face. She then grabbed a knife from the bedside table and tried to stab him with it. They had used the knife the previous evening to cut apples, he said.

“I grappled with her and I managed to dispossess her of the knife. I then used the same knife to stab the deceased four times on her chest and she fell on to the bed bleeding from her chest,” he said.

Judge Murugasen will today sentence Nhlapo, as well as another convicted wife murderer, Sphamandla Zondi (35) of Nkandla

Zondi pleaded guilty yesterday to the murder of his wife Thokozile Ngema in July last year.

He said in a statement he and Ngema argued over her excessive drinking and the fact that she wanted to leave the house late at night when it was not safe.

During the argument, he said, she slapped him across the face. He got angry, took a walking stick and struck her on her body, causing her to fall to the floor. He then left.

When he went back to apologise a short while later, she was still lying motionless and he realised she was dead. He buried her body and for three months pretended that he did not know her whereabouts, the court was told.

After being arrested by police on another charge he confessed to the murder.

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