A KwaZulu-Natal father received two terms of life imprisonment after pleading guilty on Monday to the murder of his two children, aged 3 and 8.
Nkosinathi Emmanuel Ndlela appeared in the Pietermaritzburg High Court after handing himself over to police in Esikhaleni, northern KwaZulu-Natal, last month.
In a media statement the national prosecuting authority said Ndlela shared an acrimonious relationship with his wife to the extent that she moved out of their marital home.
“Since the accused refused to part with the children, she left them behind. On the morning of August 10, the accused strangled both his children and hanged them, one in the bathroom and the other in the bedroom. The accused then handed himself over to the police.”
In aggravation of sentence, senior state advocate Mbongeni Mthembu presented the court with a victim impact statement compiled by the children’s mother and facilitated by court preparation officer Thandeka Nadi Ngcobo.
Mthembu asked the court, when sentencing the accused, to impose a sentence that will serve as a deterrent to like-minded individuals.
“In the statement, the mother mentions the incident has changed her life drastically as the children were her reason for living. She said the accused’s actions were brutal and inhumane and that he had failed in his duties as a father. She said the accused has rendered her life meaningless.”
The court sentenced the accused to life imprisonment for each of the murders. The sentences will run concurrently.
KwaZulu-Natal acting director of public prosecutions, advocate Elaine Zungu, said: “Hefty sentences like this are indicative of the seriousness with which the criminal justice system views matters of this nature.”