A 23-year-old man was convicted of murder and sentenced to 18 years imprisonment for the murder of his girlfriend in South Africa.

The National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Monica Nyuswa said the young man, Kevin Mdhlovu, appeared in the Mpumalanga High Court on Friday for the murder of 21-year-old Nokubonga Zandile Mbatha.

On the day of the incident, Mbatha visited Mdhlovu at his place of residence, travelling from Gauteng in February 2019. An argument ensued after it appeared that Mbatha had another affair.

“This angered him as he felt disrespected and humiliated. He then took an amplifier of his sound system and hit Mbatha on her head, she fell on the ground and died.”

Nyuswa said the young man then locked her in the house and left her lifeless body in the said room for three days.

“On the fourth day, Mdhlovu took the deceased body and buried it in his yard. Four months later, he handed himself to the police which resulted in him confessing and pointing out the body of the deceased.”

According to Nyuswa the state advocate, Zwelethu Mata requested the court in aggravation of sentence, to take into consideration the nature of the offence Mdhlovu is convicted of, being femicide.

“Mata stated that the society requires protection from the courts from people like Mdhlovu to gain confidence in the criminal justice system.

“Mbatha was 21 years of age at the time of her death and still had a life ahead of her. He added that when the crime was committed, Mbatha was defenceless and unarmed therefore a suitable sentence must be imposed to deter future offenders.”

Acting Judge, Johanna Mthimunye remarked that the killing of intimate partners is a serious problem in the country.

She sentenced Mdhlovu to 15 years imprisonment for murder and five years imprisonment for defeating the ends of justice.

“The court ordered two years of the sentence imposed in respect of count 2 (defeating the ends of justice) to run concurrently with the sentence imposed on the count of murder, the effective sentence being 18 years imprisonment.”

Nyuswa said the NPA welcomed the conviction and sentence.

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