Man convicted of attacking girlfriend with acid, stabbing her to death pleads for leniency

2019-03-05 20:43


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A Cape Town taxi driver who knifed his girlfriend to death near the abused women's shelter at which she had been hiding begged the Western Cape High Court for leniency in sentencing on Tuesday.

Simbarashe Dube cried in the witness stand when he testified four months after his conviction for the brutal stabbing of Nikita Lewis.

He was convicted in December for the murder of his ex-girlfriend who had been living at a Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children in Manenberg after he threw acid in her face when she refused to move in with him.

Dube, a Zimbabwean national, stabbed Lewis in a shop near the shelter two months after the acid attack.

One of the shelter residents testified that Lewis had tried to fight Dube off as he sat on top of her. He told her "you made me do this" as he attacked her and injured the women who were with her.

The mother of one sustained more than 30 stab wounds.

'I don't know what came into me'

Dube was also convicted of the serious assault of Lewis' mother and grandmother in their Kensington home and burglary for entering the house without their knowledge.

During his testimony on Tuesday, Dube maintained that he did not remember what had happened that day. He nevertheless insisted he was sorry for what he had done.

"I am not fit to stand here and look in the eyes of Nikita's relatives. It's a great loss that happened at my hands," he told Acting Judge Melanie Holderness.

"She is a woman I really loved with all my heart, but I don't know what came into me. If I could turn back the hands of time, I would [bring] her back."

He pleaded with Lewis' family to forgive him.

"Her death is hounding me and will haunt me for the rest of my life. It also pains me that I orphaned her child."

Testimony from son

A tearful Dube said he wanted to be handed a fair sentence and to be allowed to prove he could change. He promised to "try to be good to society".

He said he loved Lewis' son just as much as he had loved her.

Dube was asked about an incident where the boy told social workers that he had assaulted his mother while he was with them in the car one day. The child had retaliated by hitting Dube on the head with a cooldrink bottle.

The convicted murderer claimed to have had no recollection of the incident.

"Maybe I was being playful with her and the child thought I was being abusive," he told the judge.

Proceedings continue on Wednesday.

Read more on:    cape town  |  abuse  |  crime

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