Man who slit ex-girlfriend's throat is given a life sentence

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A man was sentenced for murdering his ex-girlfriend.
A man was sentenced for murdering his ex-girlfriend.
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  • The High Court in Pretoria sentenced Jim Dipugiso Phago to life for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Mosidi Kopanye.
  • Phago slit Kopanye's throat several times after she ended the relationship in 2018.
  • Phago was arrested when he returned to the crime scene.

The Gauteng High Court in Pretoria handed Jim Dipugiso Phago a life sentence for slitting his ex-girlfriend's throat after she ended the relationship.

According to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Phago, commonly known as Gregory, murdered his ex-girlfriend Mosidi Kopanye, 33, on 25 May 2018. 

"The deceased had ended their relationship but on that fateful [day] Phago fetched her from work at the Temba Magistrate's Court, where she worked as an administration clerk," NPA spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana said.

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"He drove to a secluded area, near the Walmansthal Army camp, where he slit her throat several times.

"Kopanyane's body was found by police later the same day. "Phago was arrested when he returned to the crime scene with a friend," Mahanjana said.

Guilty

The 35-year-old pleaded guilty to the charge of murder, but denied it was planned or premeditated.

Mahanjana said the State led with the evidence of several witnesses and the accused was convicted of premeditated murder. The State argued that, as it was a planned murder, it was aggravating circumstances. Also, the accused did not show remorse.

"The murder had a severely detrimental effect on the family and the two minor children of the deceased," said Mahanjana.

"Judge Masopa said the rate of femicide is high and he found no substantial and compelling circumstances to impose a lesser sentence. "Prosecutor advocate Maritz is satisfied the accused was convicted of planned murder and that the sentence will send a strong message to people thinking of committing similar crimes," added Mahanjana.

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