Ex-councillor jailed for wife’s death

2018-03-14 06:02
Maphaboli Godfrey Maphobole and a family member hug each other after a prison sentence was handed down to him in the Free State High Court in Bloemfontein on 6 March. In the background are members of the ANC Women’s League taking photographs of Maphobole.Photo: Alzane Narrain

Maphaboli Godfrey Maphobole and a family member hug each other after a prison sentence was handed down to him in the Free State High Court in Bloemfontein on 6 March. In the background are members of the ANC Women’s League taking photographs of Maphobole.Photo: Alzane Narrain

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A former ANC council member will spend 13 years in prison after he was found guilty of causing the death of his wife and later burning the deceased’s body at a landfill site in Winburg.

Murder accused Maphaboli Godfrey Maphobole (37), was sentenced in the Free State High Court in Bloemfontein on Tuesday, 6 March, for the death of his wife, Thulani Gqamane (26).

The incident occured on 28 November 2015 during a domestic fight between the couple in their townhouse in Langenhoven Park, Bloemfontein.

Maphobole pleaded guilty of causing the death of his wife before Judge S. Chesiwe during the trial in November.

Maphobole was charged with invo­luntary manslaughter and with the desecrating of a corpse after setting the body of Gqamane on fire.

During the sentencing, Chesiwe said Maphobole’s attack on Gqamane had been heartless and reckless.

The court heard that the accused had banged his wife’s head against a wall during a heated argument.

Chesiwe said that instead of ensu­ring that Gqamane was not injured after the incident, Maphobole afterwards left the townhouse.

What was alarming and aggravating circumstances, was that even though Maphobole had 36 hours to report the incident, he had decided to transport the deceased’s body to Winburg. There he hid it in his parents’ house and hours later set it ablaze at the landfill site.

Chesiwe put it that cases of domestic violence were increasing in South Africa. She said perpetrators therefore had to be severely punished.

“Many women live in fear and are often afraid to report cases of domestic violence due to what the abusers will do to them,” Chesiwe said.

“Daily, many women in our country are killed by their loved ones.”

Chesiwe stated that the court was obliged to send a message to perpetrators and the society that such behaviour would not be tolerated.

She said she believed that Maphobole could be rehabilitated and that prison was the only place where he would be able to rehabilitate.

Chesiwe stated that Maphobole did not show sincere remorse for his actions, as he took responsibility for the crime only two years later.

“If he had remorse, he would have pleaded directly after his wife’s death and not waited for years.”

  • Maphobole is a former ANC council member of the Tokologo Local Municipality, which governs Boshof, Dealesville and Hertzogville.

Both Maphobole and his wife had at the time been employees of the municipality.

The accused had held the influential position of senior director at the municipality, while his wife was a junior auditor. Maphobole had been married to the deceased for seven months, having divorced his former wife in 2012.

Maphobole and Gqamane had a child together and he also has two other children with his former wife.

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