Lover and killer of schoolgirl pleads guilty

2011-07-04 00:00

A 36-YEAR-OLD man was jailed for 12 years on Friday by a high court judge for the murder of 17-year-old Thembani Kweyama, with whom he claimed to have had a “secret love relationship”.

The Witness carried a report on June 7 in which neighbours told of finding Thembani’s body beneath a bed while they were cleaning a house in Mpumuza in preparation for a funeral.

Pleading guilty to her murder on Friday, Sibongiseni Vincent Mazibuko admitted he stabbed Thembani to death on June 5.

He said in a statement read to court by legal aid attorney Kelvin Singh that he began a secret love relationship with the grade 12 pupil during January.

“During the course of our relationship we spent a lot of time in each other’s company. At the time of her death I was still in love with her. I would shower her with lots of gifts and monies during our relationship.”

Mazibuko said he and Thembani spent the entire weekend, from June 3, at his home.

“We slept together in my bed. I reside alone at home since my grandmother passed away.”

He said that on June 5 they woke at 6.30 am but stayed in bed.

“I tried to hold the deceased in a loving embrace but she hastily moved my hands away. She appeared to be upset. I asked her what was wrong but she remained silent.”

He said he was confused by her sudden change of behaviour. She became aggressive and started “using vulgar language”.

An argument then broke out.

Mazibuko alleged that Thembani grabbed his genitals, causing him “immense pain” and said he grabbed her by her throat with his right hand. He grabbed a knife lying on a table and stabbed her in twice on her neck in quick succession.

Realising she was dead, he became scared and decided to leave.

Mazibuko said he went to his sister’s house to tell her what had happened, and while he was waiting for her return police arrived and arrested him.

The state accepted the facts as detailed by Mazibuko.

Passing sentence, Judge Isaac Madondo said accepted in Mazibuko’s favour submissions that he had apologised to Thembani’s family at the police station after his arrest and that he showed remorse by pleading guilty.

However, he also took into account submissions by state advocate Siyabonga Buthelezi that Thembani was only half Mazibuko’s age, weighed only 50 kg and was “tiny” compared to the accused, so he had no need to stab her.

The judge also had regard to the fact that Mazibuko has four convictions for housebreaking, which showed he was “not a total stranger to crime”.

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