28-year-old Titus Timtos Thabo was handed a sentence of life in prison on Wednesday after stabbing former girlfriend 27-year-old Phindile Portia Mahlangu on a moving bus full of passengers, says News24.
According to a statement made by Colonel Donald Mdhluli, the attack occurred on 6 January 2020.
“…Thabo took a bus which was travelling from Pretoria to KwaMhlanga and he sat at a separate seat away from the victim Mahlangu.
“The court heard that Thabo did not accept that [Mahlangu] decided to end the relationship he had with her. He then orchestrated an evil plan to end her life.”
After some commuters got off at Almansdrift C near Vaalbank, the accused then got up and confronted Mahlangu, reports IOL.
“Thabo then slapped her before stabbing her with a knife several times,” said Mdhluli.
Once hearing screams from the terrified passengers, the bus driver attempted to stop the bus, but was told by Thabo not to do so. As the bus continued to drive, Thabo continued to stab Mahlangu “in spite of her pleading for her life.”
Mdhluli states, “Mahlangu, who was bleeding profusely, was assisted to a nearby house where she was then taken to the nearest clinic. Unfortunately she later succumbed to her injuries.”
After the police were informed about the attack on Mahlangu, they opened a case of murder, says News24.
Thabo then asked his brother to accompany him to the Vaalbank police after hearing that both the police and community were in search of him.
“When handing down the sentence, Judge Thando Mankge quoted the Statistician General in saying that a society free of fear of crime is tantamount to growing the economy because their fear of crime limits women to engage in economic activities,” says Mdhluli.
“She further sent a warning that tourists will be skeptical to visit South Africa if Gender-Based Violence [GBV] crimes in the country are mostly flagged on the global map.
“The police management trust that the sentence will bring hope to victims of GBV as well as send a strong message to perpetrators of all forms of crime, especially when such a crime is directed towards women and children that severe punishment exists for such offenders.”
The life sentence, which was handed down by the Mplumalanga Division of the High Court that sat at Middelburg, was welcomed by the province’s police management.