Zim mechanic guilty of killing son

2013-06-03 22:06

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Pretoria - A 54-year-old mechanic was found guilty of killing his three-year-old son with a pick-axe handle by the High Court in Pretoria on Monday.

Vincent Mugwagwa, a Zimbabwean, told the court he did not know what came over him when he attacked his son Wesley in June last year.

Wesley was the youngest of Mugwagwa's nine children - five of whom live in Zimbabwe.

Mugwagwa testified he came to South Africa in 2010 after losing his job in Zimbabwe. He was later joined by his wife and the four younger children.

The day of the crime his wife accused him of being unfaithful. He chased her and the children out of the house, and followed them to a neighbour's house, where there was a pick-axe handle in the yard.

"I don't know how it happened. I did not believe it when they told me I was going to be arrested.... I don't have an explanation for what I did that day," he told the court.

"I was trying to hit the mother, not the child. The child did nothing wrong."

Mugwagwa's wife of 29 years, Dorica Chipeta, pleaded with the court not to send him to jail, because she and the children needed his financial support.

"When the incident happened, as much as I knew him, I was really shocked. Even now I can't believe what got into him. He was very close to his children. The other children are still in shock, because they never expected something like that to happen."

She asked the court to order her husband to do community service instead of sending him to prison.

"I accept he did kill the child, but I ask the court to give him community service so that he can support us and the children," she said.

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