Life for Boksburg man who killed his wife

A family member described the deceased’s murderer as an ‘incorrigibly evil person’ and said he deserved at least two life sentences.

The High Court in Johannesburg sentenced 52-year-old Michael Delmaine Smith of Reiger Park in Boksburg, Ekurhuleni, to life imprisonment for the murder of his wife Rochelle (45).

He was sentenced on Wednesday.

Rochelle died after she was stabbed multiple times by her husband in their home in Clarence September Street on December 10 last year. This was at a time when the country wrapped up the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign.

According to Reiger Park SAPS spokesperson Constable Johannes Msimanga, Smith handed himself over to the police on the same day and he was subsequently charged with murder.

Police and Smith proceeded to the crime scene where they found Rochelle lying face down in a pool of blood in the house. There was a table knife and an eggbeater next to her body.

The case was assigned to Sergeant Mothusi Ntsaku who left no stone unturned when conducting his investigation to ensure that the victim and her family received justice.

The Reiger Park SAPS station commander Lieutenant Colonel Bongani Dube commended Sergeant Ntsaku for the conviction.

Speaking to the Boksburg Advertiser after the sentencing, Rochelle’s niece, Kate Josiah, who described Smith as an incorrigibly evil person, said while the conviction and sentencing are a significant step in the healing process, he deserves at least two life sentences.

She added that while they appreciate that justice has been served, this is by no means closure for the family.

“He was handed a life sentence, which means he will have to serve some years in prison and then become eligible for parole. Meanwhile, he has imposed a life sentence on us, the family left behind.

“He appears to be someone who will, despite the rehabilitation process in prison, never be corrected and is likely to come back and do the same heinous act to someone else’s daughter.

“We feel that the court should have handed him at least double what he received so that when he comes back to society he is too old, frail and weak to commit the same crime,” said Josiah.

“The violent behaviour, threats he made before the incident and the fact that he stabbed Rochelle multiple times and assaulted her with a hard object, which would have also left her paralysed even if she survived, suggest that this was premeditated murder.”

According to Josiah, the murder took place after Rochelle had applied for a restraining order against Smith, and was killed within a week after she and he had attended a hearing about his violent behaviour towards her.

Rochelle, who worked for SARS for about 27 years, had been married to the accused for over two decades.

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