‘Your kids trusted you’

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Sibusiso Mpungose was yesterday given four life sentences for killing his four children. His actions were described as unimaginable by Judge Sharmaine Balton. PHOTO: SHARIKA REGCHAND
Sibusiso Mpungose was yesterday given four life sentences for killing his four children. His actions were described as unimaginable by Judge Sharmaine Balton. PHOTO: SHARIKA REGCHAND

The Pinetown man who was on Wednesday sentenced to four life terms for killing his four children showed no signs of remorse or contrition.

Instead, as Sbusiso Mpungose was being led away from the dock to the court cells, he said “voetsek” to his wife Xolisile’s family members.

She was not present during sentencing at the Pietermaritzburg high court. Her cousin Mthobisi Mlaba said the process was just too much for her to handle.

She said she could not believe that Mpungose was not asking for forgiveness or saying he is sorry.

For the most part as Judge Sharmaine Balton delivered judgment on sentence he held his head low. He showed very little emotion throughout the proceedings.

Mpungose (44) had previously pleaded guilty to killing Kuhlekonke (4), Khwezi (6), Siphesihle (10) and his step-daughter Ayakha Jiyane (17).

The murders happened on September 3, in Wyebank, Pinetown.

Judge Balton said that Mpungose committed the “horrendous acts” to spite his wife because he suspected that she was having an extra-marital affair.

He could not accept her denials and the fact that she regarded the marriage as over because they both had drifted apart over the years.

“You instead used the children as pawns in this feud with your wife. This is inhumane and exceptionally aggravating against you as they were your children, three of whom were your own flesh and blood. There are no words to describe your actions,” she said.

Judge Balton also said the crimes he committed are atrocious.

“It is unimaginable that a father who is described as a loving, caring father by his wife could have committed these offences,” she said.

The judge added that the photographs of the dead children at the crime scenes are horrendous.

“Two of the children were hanging from burglar guards with their tongues trying to protrude out of their swollen mouths which were sealed with sellotape and the third from the rail of a bedroom cupboard. The eldest child, Ayakha’s body, was lying face down hidden in the bushes,” she said.

One can only imagine what must have gone through the minds of these vulnerable children when Mpungose killed them, added the judge.

“They loved and trusted you as a father. Your wife testified that you played an active role in their upbringing and education. These innocent children would obviously have had no reason to suspect anything untoward when you fetched them from school on that fatal day,” she said.

The judge could not find any reasons to give Mpungose a different sentence. She told him the interests of society demand that he be removed for a long time.

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