Mpuma cop jailed for shooting ex

Mbombela - An Mpumalanga police constable who pleaded guilty to shooting dead his ex-girlfriend has been sentenced to 17 years in prison.

Richard Request Nyakane, 31, from Casteel near Bushbuckridge, was sentenced in the Nelspruit circuit of the North Gauteng High Court on Wednesday, a Sapa correspondent reported.

Judge Francis Legodi sentenced him to 15 years' imprisonment for the murder of Tebogo Virginia Mashele and five years' jail for abandoning their 3-year-old son.

Three of the five years will run concurrently with the 15-year sentence, meaning he will spend a total of 17 years in prison.

Nyakane, who entered into a plea agreement with the State, has been in custody for 18 months since his arrest on 11 March 2013.

At the time, he was a police constable stationed at the Bushbuckridge police station.

The judge said that on 10 March last year, Nyakane drove from his home in Casteel and collected the woman and their 3-year-old child from their home in Pilgrim's Rest.

He then drove towards Graskop and stopped near Vaalhoek Mine.

"Both accused and the victim alighted from the vehicle and an argument arose. The accused then shot the victim four times in the back with his service pistol, which shows she had been running for her life," the judge said.

The judge said Nyakane unlawfully abandoned the child next to the road unattended and unsupervised.

"He went back home, carried on with his day-to-day affairs as if nothing had happened. He left the child at the mercy of people unknown to him," said Legodi.