Life sentence for girlfriend killer

Pretoria - A Pretoria High Court judge on Friday quoted a Zulu woman's struggle song from the 1950s before sentencing a man to life imprisonment for murdering his girlfriend and unborn child.

"Pregnant women are revered and protected in our society. That protection extends to every woman, be she pregnant or not, be she young or old", Judge George Webster said before sentencing Tshepo Nkomo, aged 34, for the February 2013 murder of his girlfriend, Baleseng "Bali" Motshwane.

"Wathint' Abafazi, Wathint' Imbokodo [you strike the woman, you strike the rock].

"If the accused has never heard of it, he must try to remember it", Webster said.

Motshwane was eight months' pregnant with Nkomo's child when he stabbed her in the chest, leaving her to bleed to death after locking her up in her Brakpan apartment.

'God is great'

Her decomposing body was found days later with her stillborn child between her legs after her mother and employer became worried about her.

Nkomo worked as a production manager at a tyre manufacturer at the time.

He begged the court to impose a more lenient sentence because he was the sole supporter of his two young children with another woman.

Nkomo denied having anything to do with Motshwane's death but admitted withdrawing money from his dead lover's bank account and using some of it to buy spares for his car.

He was sentenced to an additional 25 years' imprisonment for robbing Motshwane of her bank card and twice withdrawing R3 000 from her account. All sentences would run concurrently with his life sentence.

Webster described the murder as brutal and Nkomo's conduct as brazen, despicable, and callous.

He said the fact that the baby had been expelled from the mother's body could in itself have constituted murder because it was a full-term baby.

He said the motive for the attack had not been disclosed to the court. One of the most probable reasons was that Nkomo wanted money from her.

Nkomo knew Motshwane's family needed money for her funeral, did not hand over her bank card, but instead withdrew money for a second time and then conveniently "lost" the card.

Nkomo had absolutely no feelings, either for his pregnant girlfriend or his unborn child, and the only fit sentence for him was life imprisonment, Webster added.

Motshwane's family and friends, many of them dressed in T-shirts with a picture of her face on it, cheered when Nkomo was sentenced.

"God is great. Hallelujah. Amen. Justice is served", some cried out.

Motshwane's mother Johanna and other family members expressed satisfaction that justice had been done.

Nin Ja Kitty 2014/08/02 10:30:51 AM
Not long now and he will get Parole.
Akhenaten 2014/08/02 10:35:55 AM
A sentence of 100 years would not be enough. The coward.
Michele Anne Holland Bentley 2014/08/02 10:40:32 AM
I felt sick to my stomach when I initially read this story. I find the cruelty with which people treat one another almost beyond belief. He should have been found guilty on two counts of murder. My heart goes out to the family.
Peace Sol 2014/08/02 10:48:07 AM
I hope this harsh justice is not applied to black perpetrators only, the likes of Oscar Pistorius must be severely punished too!
Candy Ervin 2014/08/02 10:48:55 AM
This is why we need the death penalty. He brutally took the life of a mother and her unborn child. Murderous bastard!!! He doesn't deserve to breathe!!
Steyn Marius Botha 2014/08/02 10:58:17 AM
Great judge you deserve to sit their, you actually understand about justice weldone great job
Michael Miggie Mashapa 2014/08/02 11:00:32 AM
Rebecca Malope sang dis song, "Hamba juba" n i always tell people abt da meaning of dis song. Plz get out before he kills u. If ur slapp u plz leave him peacefully bcoz next tym he will shoot u to death. Is so sad n painful. Wat happened to us. Love doesn't hurt. Lerato a le utlwisi bohloko. U ar so special. Leave his Mansion n his BMW ya gage. O tsamaye o ye o dule mokhukhung wa gago n have peace n happiness. I urge Rebecca Malope to continue singing dis song "hamba juba" so dat most people will understand da msg. Haleluya God bless u
Butho Gwedashe 2014/08/02 11:01:48 AM
he must rot in jail and how can you kill a woman and your own flesh...sies
Pietie Philander 2014/08/02 11:02:21 AM
Zulu people are making themselves very unpopular in SA
Lungih Shezy 2014/08/02 11:23:29 AM
Good now I must work hard on Monday so I can feed him a decent meal 3 times a day in prison, punishment