Life in prison for Limpopo doctor's murderer

The Limpopo High Court on Tuesday sentenced Nthiyiso Xilumani to life imprisonment for the murder of his former girlfriend, Shongile Nkwashu.

The incident came as a result of the victim, who was a medical doctor, deciding to end her relationship with 25-year-old Xilumani.

Limpopo police spokesperson, Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo, said: "According to the evidence provided in court, on 15 January 2020, Nkwashu sent Xilumani a text message ending their relationship. Agitated by the text message, Xilumani travelled from Giyani to Nkwashu's workplace, Mankweng Hospital, where he throttled her to death and locked her door before leaving the scene. Her body was found in her room at Mankweng hospital on the evening of January 19, 2020."

Advocate Eric Mabapa said that the conduct of Xilumani was unbecoming. He had threatened the father of the deceased by sending him text messages, and even said that "if I can't have Shongile no one will have her."

Adv Mabapa further argued that Xilumani was not remorseful.

Limpopo Judge President Ephraim Makgoba, who resided over the case, remarked that men had turned themselves into animals, and the community was sick and tired of violence, which is why the courts must look out for the best interests of society.

The NPA welcomed the sentence, with Director of Public Prosecutions Advocate Ivy Thenga commending the good work of the state advocate, investigations team, and Limpopo department of health. She further urged the community to report domestic violence to the police and also make protection orders where applicable.

Limpopo health MEC Phophi Ramathuba welcomed the news, saying: "We know there is no amount of sentence years that will bring back the life of doctor Nkwashu. We are encouraged by the judiciary system for looking at the interest of us as women. We are saying this is the kind of judgment that shows beyond any shadow of doubt that the judiciary of this country understands the pain women and children are going through in the hands of those who are supposed to love them and protect them."

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