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By Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Digital Deputy News Editor

Mpumalanga cop gets three life sentences for killing wife and siblings

Judge Ratshibvumo imposed the sentence against Khoza "to send a message to the community of Masoye".

The Mpumalanga High Court has sentenced police officer Sizwe Khoza to three life sentences for killing his wife and her siblings.

Khoza shot and killed his wife, 35-year-old Nomthandazo Mnisi last year. He also shot her 32-year-old sister Colisile Mnisi, and her 42-year-old brother Dennis Mkhantshwa, in Hazyview on 30 April 2023.

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According to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), the siblings were at the couple’s home as mediators in their ongoing marital dispute.

Khoza’s mother and his uncle were also at the house on the day.

Last week, Khoza pleaded guilty to all three counts of murder. He, however, claimed to have committed the acts due to a nervous breakdown.

Khoza sentencing: ‘more aggravating factors’

On Tuesday, Judge Takalani Ratshibvumo sentenced the 39-year-old police constable to three life sentences.

Judge Ratshibvumo imposed the sentence against Khoza “to send a message to the community of Masoye”.

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“I checked to see if there is any substantial and compelling reason that justifies deviation from the prescribed sentence of life imprisonment,” said Judge Ratshibvumo.

“The more I zoomed into these traditional mitigating factors, instead of me finding anything substantial and compelling to justify the imposition of anything less, unfortunately, I find even more aggravating factors.

“In fact, deviation from the prescribed sentences will send a wrong message to the community. The community of Masoye and people of Mpumalanga have to know that the courts are not going to tolerate gender-based violence.

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“The message has to go out to the streets of Mbombela that anyone who violates women will be dealt with by the courts mercilessly.

“For the simple reason that you have one life, the legislature also provides that any sentence that is imposed together with life imprisonment shall run concurrently with life imprisonment. As a result, the sentences in count number 2 and 3 shall run concurrently with sentences in count 1,” said the Judge.

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femicide Gender-based Violence (GBV) Murder