Man Sentenced to Two Life Terms for Murder of Girlfriend and Her Sister in South Africa

A 37-year-old man, Hlabirwa Rassie Nkune, has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of his girlfriend and her sister in Mpumalanga, South Africa.
The Mpumalanga Division of the High Court on Friday, May 18, 2023, convicted and sentenced Nkune, to two life terms after he was found guilty on two counts of premeditated murder of the two siblings.
The accused was in a love relationship with Pretty Mazibuko (46), and the other victim was a police officer, Sergeant Marcia Mazibuko (41).
Nkune was charged with two counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder, however, the state withdrew attempted murder charges against him.
On 15 May 2022, the accused went to Mazibuko’s homestead in KaNyamazane, and an altercation about infidelity ensued.

The suspect left the home and then returned bearing a gun. Pretty, the accused’s girlfriend, raced to the car and tried to pull out of the yard as he began shooting at her. When the car became immobilized in a mound of dirt, Nkune pursued the victim and kept firing.

When two people in a passing car volunteered to help, Nkune opened fire on them, but they managed to flee unharmed. The accused went back to the house where Pretty was first shot. The victims passed away from gunshot wounds while traveling to the nearby clinic after he ran after Marcia and shot her.

The suspect was apprehended in August 2022 for the murder case that occurred in Sundra, Mpumalanga, after he had fled the scene.

The accused admitted guilt to two charges of murder in court, but the state rejected his plea on a third count because it did not accord with the evidence the state had.

This resulted in the state presenting witness testimony as evidence. The accused was found guilty on two counts of premeditated murder because the court believed the state witness to be reliable.

Advocate Zwelethu Mata read a victim impact statement that had been put up by court preparation officer Nomfundo Mokoena during the aggravation of the sentence.

The mother of the two victims said in her statement that she hates the person who killed her children and that she usually feels terrified, nervous, and hurt whenever she is in court.

Judge Takalani Vincent Ratshibvumo, who presided over the punishment, warned the entire Mbombela community that the court would not accept or treat anyone who committed crimes against women in our society with favor. As a result, the Judge ruled that Nkune was unqualified to own a firearm and sentenced him to two life sentences in jail.

The National Prosecuting Authority praised the prosecution and the police for their hard work in ensuring that justice was done and welcomed the sentence.

Nkune has also admitted to killing Hillary Gardee, a South African politician’s daughter who was born in Lagos, Nigeria.

Written by PH

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