A 36-year-old father from Ngwanamatle village in Jane Furse, Limpopo, who killed his five-year-old son Thato by burying him alive in a shallow grave in 2019, was sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment by the high court in Polokwane.
According to a statement by the NPA in Limpopo, Lai Phepheng buried the child alive in his yard in December 2019 after taking the child from his grandmother’s home in Germiston while the mother was at work.
“Phepheng was arrested a few days later after he was confronted by the community of Ngwanamatle. He pleaded guilty to the charges and stated that he was very angry because the mother had divorced him,” NPA’s Mashudu Malabi- Dzhangi said.
The prosecutor, advocate Sontaga Malefahlo, asked the court to impose a harsh punishment on Phepheng because he killed an innocent child.
“The killing of the deceased was brutal. He knew very well that his son was a little innocent boy but he did not care about the little soul. Though the accused did show remorse and pleaded guilty to the charges, the court should impose a harsh punishment on the accused because he killed the deceased for no reason.
“The killing of women and children has become a serious problem in our country and the courts must send a message that these evil actions will not go unpunished,” said Malefahlo.
Judge president Ephraim Makgoba agreed with the prosecutor and accordingly sentenced Phepheng to 20 years for murder and two years for defeating the ends of justice. The sentences will run concurrently.
Malabi- Dzhangi said the NPA welcomed the sentence.