Lover gets 27 years for Grange murder

2008-05-08 00:00

High Court Judge Piet Koen yesterday sentenced a man who killed his partner, and the mother of his year-old child, to 27 years’ imprisonment for her "gruesome" murder on April 29.

He said the seriousness of the murder of domestic worker Zakithi Rejoice Mncube, as well as the manner she was murdered, persuaded him that the killer deserved more than the minimum prescribed sentence of 15 years.

The court found the murder was not premeditated.

A post-mortem report revealed Mncube died of a "clean cut wound across the neck severing all the structures and ending on the spine".

Mthobisi Mthokozisi Zuma (32) of Howick pleaded guilty and said he murdered Mncube while enraged, after walking in on her and an unknown man having sex in the lounge of the home where she worked in Visagie Road, in the Grange.

They had been together eight years and she was the mother of his one-year-old son, he said.

He said he threw a vase at the couple and the man fled. Overcome with anger, he confronted Mncube. She did not answer and he got the impression she was "ignoring" him.

"Enraged at her duplicity and her insolence, I grabbed the nearest object to hand, which was a knife on the kitchen table, and followed the deceased into the backyard.

[She] made her way to an outside toilet, where I caught up with her and pushed her to the ground before I slit her throat."

The judge said partners in any relationship should not be subject to any kind of physical abuse.

He said he could understand that Zuma felt intensely disappointed and angry when he saw his girlfriend having sex with another man, but said this could never justify physical retaliation against a woman.

Refusing Zuma leave to appeal, Koen said he did not believe another court would find it "shockingly inappropriate".

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