Man who murdered girlfriend in front of two children gets 25 years

Jan Mafa has been sentenced to 25 years in prison by the Mpumalanga High Court, sitting in Middleburg, for brutally stabbing his girlfriend to death in front of her two small children. Judge HF Brauckmann said was it not for the fact that Mafa had a clean record for 35 years, the crimes would have justified a life sentence. The judge said in Mpumalanga, it seemed that more women were killed at the hands of their partners than by Covid-19.

“It is undeniable that we are experiencing high levels of violent crime and in particular with reference to this case, a violent crime against women. This court sat in the criminal courts in Breyten and Middelburg the last two terms and almost the total roll consisted of femicide matters. More women most probably perished at the hands of their loved ones than of Covid-19 the last 12 months in Mpumalanga. It is really a very disturbing feature of the family landscape,” the judge said.

Mafa not only butchered Mapula Moremi in September 2019 in her home, but after leaving her to die in front of her young sons, he robbed her of a tiny amount of cash and a packet of snacks.

“The murder was heartless, brutal and shocking. The deceased died a painful and violent death at the hands of someone who testified that they spent the day prior to the killing together. She did not die instantly; it took her a while to die. She suffered and eventually succumbed to death. The degree of violence applied to the deceased was egregious, excessive, exhibits horrifying aggression and was barbaric,” said Judge Brauckmann.

The judge added that a significant feature of the crime was that Mafa did not call for medical assistance; instead he left her to die. While he denied that he was the killer, despite the two children who had witnessed it, the motive for the murder was anger.

According to the children, Mafa wanted Moremi to leave the house and go with him. They heard her refusing and warning him that he should leave, or else she would call the police. He then went to the kitchen and returned to the room armed with a knife, where he killed the deceased by stabbing her multiple times in a fit of rage.

“The crimes, and more specifically the brutal murder of the deceased, took place in full view of the two minor children who knew the deceased as their only mother. The court is of the view that the two boys will suffer from this traumatic experience for the rest of their lives,” said the judge.

The evidence during the trial by Moremi’s sister was tragic. She said Moremi had five children of her own, including one in Grade 12 and there are also two other grandchildren residing with her permanently, now she has to care for the two boys as well.

Moremi’s sister said she is not employed and has to rely on government grants, she has nine children to care for. The court was told that the deceased and her sister helped each other with the children they were taking care of. The grants she is receiving is barely enough to feed all of them.

The judge agreed with the prosecution that Mafa was selfish.

“During the commission of these crimes, one big love story trumped all others. That is the story of malignant self-love. He never apologised or showed any remorse,” said the judge.

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