Woman, who stabbed lover's wife with steak knife, has sentence reduced

2018-11-05 19:12
The Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein. (iStock)

The Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein. (iStock)

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

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) has overturned a Gauteng woman's murder conviction after she stabbed her lover's wife to death with a steak knife six years ago. Instead, it ruled that she was guilty of culpable homicide.

The SCA also reduced Odetta Botha's 12-year prison sentence to three years. 

The conviction arose from an incident between her and her lover's wife at a Dros restaurant in Krugersdorp, Gauteng, on July 27, 2012. 

"The conviction of murder and the sentence of 12 years' imprisonment are set aside," Justice Zukisa Laurah Lumka Tshiqi ruled last week.   

"The order of the Gauteng Local Division, Johannesburg, is replaced with the following: The appellant is convicted of culpable homicide and is sentenced to three years' imprisonment," Tshiqi said.

Botha was granted bail of R5 000 pending the outcome of her appeal in the SCA.

Parking lot altercation

According to the judgment, the deceased died as a result of complications stemming from a stab wound to her anterior chest wall.  

On the day of the incident, Botha and her lover had been sitting at one of the restaurant's outside areas when the man's wife arrived with her son, the judgment states.

The deceased approached her husband and Botha from behind, assaulted her (Botha) and shouted and swore at her. 

"She thereafter left and proceeded towards the parking area of the restaurant. Her husband followed, apparently in order to calm her down, but the appellant did not move from where she was sitting," reads the judgement.  

"The deceased picked up a stone and smashed the windscreen of her husband's motor vehicle. 

"There was another altercation between the deceased and her husband around the parking area, but she went back to Botha, swore at her and assaulted her again."

Attack 'unexpected'

Botha admitted that she stabbed the deceased with the steak knife that was in front of her on the table.

At the time, she said she was not aware that it was a knife because it was wrapped in a serviette, adding that she realised that she had stabbed the woman when she saw her bleeding. 

Judge Tshiqi said there was no reason to reject Botha's evidence that during the incident she was in pain and frightened. 

"All of this suggests that the appellant (Botha) was attacked unexpectedly by the deceased on the second occasion and that she could not think rationally. 

"I also accept, as the court a quo did, that the assault was such that she could not reasonably be expected to fold her hands and do nothing in order to avert the attack," Tshiqi said.

The judge added that there was no evidence that Botha deliberately or purposefully aimed a firm thrust at the deceased. 

"On the contrary, the evidence shows that she simply turned around while sitting and directed a stabbing movement towards the deceased's upper body. This suggests that the appellant's conduct was an impulsive reaction to the attack which was being inflicted on her."

Tshiqi said the evidence showed that Botha did not foresee the possibility of death. 

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime  |  courts

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.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

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.

Settings

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.