Wife killer smiles after sentencing

2013-05-29 17:26

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Pretoria - A Pretoria geologist, who hired his gardener to murder his ex-wife, smiled broadly on Wednesday after the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria sentenced him to 25 years in jail.

Cobus Prinsloo, 66, smiled and winked while he was handcuffed and led down to the court cells.

Judge Moses Mavundla sentenced Prinsloo to an effective term of 25 years' imprisonment for the October 2009 murder of his ex-wife, air hostess Cordelia Prinsloo, 56.

The gardener, Lucas Moloi, was sentenced to 18 years' imprisonment in 2011 after he admitted to killing Prinsloo by hitting her twice on the back of the head with a shovel.

Her decomposed body was found buried in a flower bed on the plot where she and her husband lived in separate houses.

The court accepted his evidence that Prinsloo offered him R50 000 and a house to commit the murder.

Throughout his trial Prinsloo insisted he had nothing to do with his ex-wife's murder.

No remorse

Social worker Yvette van Schalkwyk said in a report Prinsloo lacked real remorse about the carefully planned and premeditated murder and should be sent to jail.

Mavundla said it would seem that the plot had been the major cause of conflict between Prinsloo and his ex-wife.

"In my view the accused simply did not want to part with the property or give the deceased her fair share. He then decided to get the deceased killed. Like a coward he asked Moloi to do the dirty work for him... She was 'chopped like a rabbit' at his instructions. He was motivated by greed and bitterness towards the deceased," Mavundla said.

Prinsloo's clean criminal record, advanced age and ill health counted in his favour. Although Prinsloo's cancer was in remission, he needed follow-up treatment.

Mavundla said Prinsloo was a wealthy businessman and had enough money to provide for his children.

Choosing an ‘evil path’

"He knew he carried the future of his children on his shoulders when he decided to arrange for the termination of the life of the woman who bore him children. He did not think twice when he should have done so... The accused chose to walk the evil path and contracted the killing of their mother.

"He must take his medicine with a smile and cannot use the interest of his children to stay out of jail," Mavundla said.

Cordelia Prinsloo's brother George Schoonraad said the sentence was irrelevant to her family.

"Just the fact that the true colours of Cobus Prinsloo have been revealed plays a very important role for us... I suppose one would have to think about forgiving him very carefully, but it would be outrageous to say I would suddenly invite him for a braai.

"I don't find his smile strange. My sister always said he was very charming and a gentleman, but a master manipulator," he said.

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