Wife killer gets 15 years’ jail

2010-12-08 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG father of two Emmanuel Donnelly (34) was sentenced effectively to 15 years’ imprisonment yesterday for murdering his wife, Tania, on April 6 as well as theft and unlawful possession of a firearm.

He must serve 10 years’ imprisonment before he can be considered for parole.

Acting high court Judge Yvonne Gcaba said although no one could know what was in Donnelly’s mind when he removed the firearm from under the seat of acquaintance Johnson Ndabazitha’s car, the court accepted his version that he intended to use the gun to commit suicide.

The judge said at that stage Donnelly knew his wife no longer loved him and he could have “walked away” instead of shooting her.

About his allegations that his wife confessed to infidelity, the judge said he himself also admitted infidelity.

She said it appeared that Donnelly was abusive to his wife, hence the protection order she had applied for.

In his plea, Donnelly said he and his wife had argued on March 15 about a “revealing” dress she intended to wear to work. He had tried to stop her from wearing it and “accidentally damaged” part of it. She subsequently moved out of the house.

According to his affidavit, Donnelly said he became severely depressed on April 4 when it became apparent that his wife was avoiding his telephone calls. When his expected reunion with her and his children fell apart, he was “devastated” and he wrote three suicide notes addressed to her and the children respectively.

“I wanted to kill myself but did not know how to go about it,” he said.

The next day he was given a lift by Ndabazitha, but left his bag with money and school books in the car. When he returned to fetch them, he saw a firearm under the car seat and removed it, realising he could use it to kill himself.

He immediately decided to give his wife the notes he had written, bought a bouquet of pink and white roses and went to her workplace. “I knew that neither she nor my children would see me alive again,” he said.

He gave her the flowers and she asked him to follow her to the kitchen where they could talk in private. She told him she would not be coming home with him at any stage. She also revealed other instances she had been unfaithful to him, he said.

“In a fit of rage I removed the firearm from my pants and shot randomly at the deceased …

“I thereafter placed the firearm in my mouth and pulled the trigger, but there was no more ammunition left. I fled the scene.”

He handed himself over to police the same day.

ACTING Judge Gcaba commented that Donnelly’s sentencing coincided with the 16 Days of Activism of no violence against women and children.

She said the court agrees with those who believe the campaign should “run for the whole year and not only 16 days” and that people who abuse women and children should know that they will receive heavy sentences.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.