Outrage over brutal killer's lower sentence

2013-08-06 10:26

(File) (Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - The family of a Johannesburg teenager who was strangled, suffocated and set alight in December last year have been left outraged by the lower sentence handed down to one of her killers.

The teenager’s brother-in-law, Jonathan Maharla, was given a 15-year jail term for killing 16-year-old Michaela Manneson, The Star reported on Tuesday.

He tried to strangle her, then his alleged accomplice George Barquala held a cloth doused in paint thinners over her nose. When that didn’t kill her, Maharla strangled her while Barquala held a plastic bag over her head.

Then they took her body to an industrial area in Eldorado Park, where they stacked tyres on top of her, poured thinners on the stack and lit it.

The sentence has outraged Manneson’s parents and women’s groups alike.

Ellen Manneson, Michaela’s mother, said she felt she had been coerced by the State prosecutor into signing the plea bargain who said their daughter’s killer “would be on the street like tomorrow” if they didn’t.

Maharla went into a plea bargain agreement with the State so that he would testify against Barquala, a Mozambican who has not been arrested and is believed to have fled to his home country.

Gender violence researcher, Lisa Vetten said there needed to be legal representation for victims’ families so that they would be satisfied with their decisions after signing a plea bargain.

Activist group People Opposing Women Abuse [Powa] were also unhappy with the sentence as it “says a woman and girl’s life is worth nothing as most probably, with good behaviour, the perpetrator will serve less than 15 years”.

After sentencing, as he made his way to the holding cells, Maharla stopped, looked Michaela’s father, in the eye and said: “Sorry, man.”

“Voetsek, man,” responded the teen’s dad.
Read more on:    johannesburg

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.