SANDF soldier who killed girlfriend in DRC loses appeal against sentence

(AFP)
(AFP)

A South African National Defence Force (SANDF) soldier who shot and killed his girlfriend while they were deployed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has lost his appeal against a 20-year sentence for the murder.

The defence force said on Wednesday that Private Elias Mogaki and his girlfriend, Private Nomathemba Ngeleka, had both belonged to the 5 South African Infantry Battalion in Ladysmith.

They were in the DRC as part of the Force Intervention Brigade, which is a UN peacekeeping initiative to keep citizens safe from rebel groupings.

Mogaki opened fire on Ngeleka and then tried to take his own life immediately afterwards, spokesperson Brigadier General Mafi Mgobozi said.

Read more: SANDF soldier kills co-worker, attempts suicide

He was stabilised in the DRC, transferred to South Africa for further treatment and charged with murder once he had recovered.

A Court of Military judge found him guilty of the murder on June 18, 2018 and sentenced him to 20 years in jail.

Last week, the Court of Military Appeal upheld the sentence, Mgobozi said.

"The SANDF is in the process of dishonourably discharging [Private] Mogaki," he said.

Also read: Name of SA soldier killed in DRC released

Mogaki was held at the military detention barracks in Bloemfontein and would soon be transferred and handed over to the Rustenburg correctional services facility.

"The SANDF will not tolerate any acts of ill-discipline, criminal activities, conduct detrimental to the Military Disciplinary Code and the Code of Conduct amongst all its members, both military and civilian, regardless of position or rank level," said Mgobozi.

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