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By Chulumanco Mahamba

Digital Night Supervisor

Mozambique man sentenced to life for girlfriend’s murder in Mpumalanga

Life imprisonment was handed to Richard Do Santos, 35, for the femicide of his girlfriend, Chrisandra Nxumalo, in Mpumalanga.

A Mozambique man who murdered his girlfriend in December 2022 was sentenced to life and six imprisonments on Monday for femicide and contravention of the Immigration Act.

Richard Do Santos, 35, pleaded guilty to the murder of his girlfriend and mother of three, Chrisandra Nxumalo, and was subsequently convicted of murder by the Breyten High Court in Mpumalanga.

Do Santos and Nxumalo were a couple for three years and lived together in Volkrust; however, their relationship turned sour on 3 December 2022, when the couple was at a tavern, and Do Santos accused Nxumalo of kissing someone else.

Girlfriend hit in head with big concrete stone

“The argument became physical. The accused took a big concrete stone and assaulted Nxumalo on the head. The deceased was certified dead on the scene,” said National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Mpumalanga regional spokesperson Monica Nyuswa.

Investigations also revealed that Do Santos was in South Africa illegally.

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According to the NPA, state advocate Amos Mtshweni spoke on gender-based violence and femicide in court, saying that women being killed by their partners has become a far too regular occurrence, and Nxumalo had a whole life ahead of her.

“The victim impact statement compiled by the deceased’s mother, facilitated by the court preparation officer Faith Masango, where she detailed the pain and trauma caused by the accused in her family, was presented.

“She said life has been difficult as the deceased left three minor children who are now depending on her, and one of them even tried to commit suicide,” Nyuswa said.

Life in jail

Judge Lindiwe Vukeya found no significant and compelling reasons to depart from the mandatory minimum life sentence.

Do Santos was subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment for murder and six months for contravention of the Immigration Act. He will essentially serve a life sentence in jail after the judge ordered the sentence for count two to run concurrently with the term for count one.

The NPA praised the prosecution and the police for bringing justice to the Nxumalo family and welcomed the matter’s conclusion.

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“Curbing the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide in our society is the organisational priority,” it said.