According to reports, a man from Mpumalanga, who stabbed his girlfriend to death in front of her children, was spared from a life sentence based on this having been his first offence.
Jan Mafa appeared in the Middelburg High Court where he was found guilty of murdering Miss Mapula Moremi. Moremi was reportedly stabbed with a knife several times at home while her 2 minor boys watched. Her murderer reportedly left her for dead and made off with money and snacks.
Acting Judge Hein Brauckmann found Mafa guilty of the murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances. Mafa was sentenced to 25 years for murder and 15 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances.
Judge Brauckmann said: “In my view, if it was not for the fact that Mafa had a clean record for 35 years, the crimes would have justified a life sentence,”. He continued, saying: “The mitigating circumstances … must clearly reduce the life sentence that would otherwise have been appropriate, but in the court’s view, it is capable of reducing it to 25 years imprisonment.”
Some of the mitigating circumstances argued by the defendant’s counsel were that Mafa maintained two of his own children and was a spiritual healer who obtained matric as well as security services and plumbing certificates.
“In my view, if it was not for the fact that Mafa had a clean record for 35 years, the crimes would have justified a life sentence,” said Judge Brauckmann.
The 25-year sentence means Mafa will be eligible for parole after having served 15 years.