South Africa

You’re a cold-blooded killer who contributed to ever-rising rate of GBV, magistrate tells man who murdered girlfriend

Johannesburg - A magistrate described the man who set his girlfriend on fire, killing her as a cold-blooded killer who contributed to the ever-rising rate of gender-based- violence (GBV).

Magistrate Hambokazi Thwele said so on Thursday at the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court while handing a 20-year sentence to Mpho Thobane for killing View Dalingozi in October 2018.

Thwele said the country was faced with challenges of GBV, with cases of women and children abuse growing every day. What had happened to Dalingozi, she said, was a clear case of GBV.

Dalingozi was asleep at the flat in the Joburg CBD when Thobane doused her with petrol and set her on fire.

She died two days later.

After the incident, Thobane reportedly fled to Limpopo, where he was later arrested four days later.

Maletsatsi Ngoashe, the couple’s neighbour, testified against Thobane during the trial.

Ngoashe revealed that she heard the couple arguing and 10 minutes later saw Dalingozi screaming and running while on fire.

“She was on fire and she was screaming that nditshisiwe uMpho (Mpho has set me alight). I saw a huge flame coming from her flat and I followed her as she was running towards the stairs,” she said.

Viwe Dalingozi, who died after being doused in petrol and set alight by her boyfriend, Mpho Thobane.

The magistrate said Thobane’s defence team had argued for a lighter sentence than the minimum prescribed sentence considering his age and time spent in custody.

However, the State was firm on its stance that Thobane had shown no remorse and that there were no valid reasons to deviate from the minimum sentence then slapped him with a 20-year prison term.

The court also heard that the victim’s mother had struggled to cope with her daughter’s gruesome killing and as a result suffered from depression.

View’s uncle, Fezile, said the family and community back in Eastern Cape would welcome the sentence.

“We are glad that it’s finally over, we’re happy it has come to this stage. It has been a painful journey … not a nice experience,” he said.

The uncle touched briefly on the family’s memories of his niece, saying that she was a loving person.

“Very sad memories of our beloved Viwe. We only wish that the scourge of GBV can come to an end in our country because a lot of our kids are dying at the hands of these perpetrators.”

Reacting to the magistrate’s ruling Fezile Dalingozi said: “Well, there is no amount of action that will bring back Viwe’s life.

“Not even a life sentence, which is what we hoped for, will bring Viwe back. The family will sit down and discuss the proceedings and we will thereafter take a decision.”

He made reference to Jessy Dixon’s song titled, The Wicked Shall Cease Their Troubling.

“We are hoping for such days that these wicked people in our communities will at least stop what they are doing. This does not have to happen anymore to anyone.”

The Star

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