NKOWANKOWA: Husband (78) sentenced to 15 years for wife’s murder

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POLOKWANE – The High Court in Polokwane last week sentenced 78 years-old Malindi Johannes Ratshilingana from Nkowankowa in Greater Tzaneen to 15 years’ imprisonment for the murder of his wife.

Victoria Ratshilingana (71) was brutally murdered in her home on,16 March 2017.

Both her husband, Malindi Johannes Ratshilingana and her grandson were charged in connection with the murder.

The grandson, who was 15 years of age at the time of the incident, was in 2018 sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, three of which were conditionally suspended.

During the trial Ratshilingana offered an alibi for his defence saying he was at work in the Malamulele area when the offence was committed. Regional Spokesperson for the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in Limpopo, Mashudu Malabi Dzhangi said State Prosecutor, Advocate Calvin Chauke called the grandson,n to the stand as a state witness.

According to Malabi Dzhangi the teenager testified that his grandfather had the night before the murder conspired to kill his wife. He told the court that Ratshilingana had gone to work the following morning but returned at 09:00 whereby he entered his wife’s bedroom and stabbed her with a knife, she said

“He firstly strangled her then asked his grandson to bring an axe which he used to chop off her head. He then used an electric drill to drill into her forehead .”

The witness explained that his grandfather told him to use rope to tie the victim’s hands and feet and then together they wrapped her body in a blanket. “Ratshilingana instructed the witness to clean the bedroom and said they will return later to dispose of her body. He then went back to work.”

The couple’s son and the sister of the victim were also called to the stand during the trial. “They both testified in court about the odd behavior of Ratshilingana before and after the offence. They testified that Ratshilingana told them that Victoria was killed by intruders but they found it strange because at the time it had not yet been known that she had died.”

Malabi Dzhangi said that Chauke argued that the attack was vicious and pre-planned and added that Ratshilingana’s actions were callous, as he showed no regard for the feelings of the witness who was 15 years old. He added d that the actions of the accused were calculated, cold-blooded and demonstrated a lack of remorse. He asked the court to impose an appropriate sentence.

“The court found that the state witnesses were credible and reliable. It also found that there were substantial and compelling circumstances because of Ratshilingana’s age.”

The court sentenced him to 15 years imprisonment, she concluded.

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