- A man who murdered his girlfriend was sentenced to life behind bars.
- The accused represented himself after firing his legal team several times during the trial.
- The girlfriend was the mother of two children.
The Polokwane High Court sentenced Ashan Fraz Cheema to life imprisonment for the murder of his girlfriend, Mohlale Precious Magabane.
Cheema, 33, also received two years for theft and five years for defeating the ends of justice.
The National Prosecuting Authority welcomed the sentence - and the Director of Public Prosecutions, advocate Ivy Thenga, commended the good work of Warrant Officer Kotlolo Patrick Pila and advocate Nkhetheni Munyai.
Cheema represented himself after firing his legal representatives several times.
During the trial, Raza Ali, a friend of Cheema, was called as a State witness.
Ali said the accused told him about his problems with his girlfriend, and that, on 23 December 2018, Cheema confessed he had killed her by using a knife.
He said Cheema dismembered the body, placed the body parts in refuse bags, and drove around disposing of it at Lydenburg Mountain, along the R37.
Cheema then contacted Ali again, requesting his help to bury the deceased's head and hands at Mashifane Park sports ground.
The DNA proved the body parts belonged to the deceased.
Cheema, who pleaded not guilty, was subsequently found guilty.
During sentencing, Judge President Ephraim Makgoba said the accused was convicted of a serious offence, which fell under gender-based-violence, and which is a "big problem in this country".
He said he had taken into account the personal circumstances of the accused, the nature and seriousness of the offence, and the interest of society.
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