Twenty years for killing nurse

2014-03-19 00:00

A 34-YEAR-OLD man who admitted stabbing Edendale nurse Ntomben­hle Mbelu multiple times and slitting her throat after finding her with another man earlier this month, was jailed for 20 years in the Pietermaritzburg high court.

Thabani Walter Radebe pleaded guilty to Mbelu’s murder, which occurred at her home in Broteni Location near Himeville on March 4 this year.

He told the court in a statement that he and Mbelu started dating in 2003. As they’d planned to get married he had paid for her tuition at nursing college which “cost a lot of money”.

He said she had passed well and “got her dream job as a nurse and a child to bless our relationship”.

Radebe said the incident of March 4 — when he said he’d found her “sleeping with another man” — had come as a huge surprise to him.

“I felt let down, got very angry and lost my temper. I loved and trusted her too much to have prepared myself for what I came across that morning,” he said.

Radebe said he admits he had no right to attack and stab Mbelu in the manner he had done, regardless of what she did. He also wished to apologise to his child, to her family and to the community, he said.

Passing sentence on Radebe, Acting Judge Louis Barnard said the court had to consider sentence in light of the facts contained in Radebe’s statement which had been accepted by the state as correct.

There was therefore no evidence that the murder was premeditated, and life imprisonment was not applicable in the case.

He said the way in which Mbelu was murdered was consistent with Radebe’s version that he lost his temper and self control.

While accepting that Radebe may have been provoked by circumstances, the Judge said these were “part of life” and couldn’t excuse his actions.

Balancing Radebe’s interests against the crime and the interests of society, Barnard said he believed 20 years was an appropriate sentence.

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