A 30-year-old man from Mangosuthu in Piet Retief, Thulasizwe Mtholephi Kunene, has been sentenced to life imprisonment by the High Court of South Africa: Mpumalanga Division sitting in Breyten for the murder of his ex-lover, Thuli Mavuso, and housebreaking.
Kunene pleaded guilty and was convicted of housebreaking and murder. This incident occurred after Kunene broke up with Mavuso.
In his plea statement, he told the court that he and Mavuso had two children. At some stage, Mavuso ended their relationship and fell in love with another man. This angered Kunene and he decided to kill her.
On July 7, 2019, Kunene took a machete and went to the house where Mavuso was with her new boyfriend. He attacked her with the machete in the living room. He chopped up her body several times and left it partially decapitated. He fled the scene on foot and was arrested at his work place the following day.
In mitigation of sentence, Kunene told the court that he was angered by how the relationship ended and the threats passed to him by Mavuso’s boyfriend.
Prosecutor, senior state advocate Ashwin Poodhun, said Kunene was not remorseful of his actions, otherwise he would have called for assistance after he realised that he made a mistake and not to run away and conceal the murder weapon.
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Judge Hein Brauckmann said violence against women and children is the most shameful human rights violation it knows no boundaries of geography, culture or wealth and as long as it continues we cannot claim to be making real progress towards equality, development and peace. He sentenced Kunene to three years imprisonment for housebreaking and life imprisonment for murder. The court ordered the sentences to run concurrently, the effective sentence being a life term.
The Acting Director of Public Prosecutions, Adv. Matric Luphondo, attributed this sentence to the collaborated efforts of the justice cluster in maintaining law and order in ensuring that justice prevails for the victims of gender-based violence.