Joseph Selala, 45, showed no emotion when Judge Bert Bam sentenced him to life imprisonment for the December 2013 murders of his girlfriend, Elizabeth Masemola, and daughters Lethabo, eight, and Kgomotso, 12.
The two children were found dead in their beds in Selala’s house after he shot them execution-style in the head. He had fetched the children from family members earlier in the day. He then went to his girlfriend’s home and shot her several times as she lay in her bed.
Selala did not testified about what had triggered his horror killing spree, although there were suggestions he had problems with his girlfriend and wanted to kill himself. Judge Bam said it was clear Selala had intended to kill his girlfriend and children.
He said even if Selala had problems with his girlfriend, it was impossible to comprehend why he had to kill two innocent children. The girls were killed in their sleep and had no chance to escape their fate. The judge rejected the argument by the defence that the killing of his own children should be regarded as mitigating.
He said it was aggravating that the three victims were ruthlessly killed and the crimes were premeditated.
“It must therefore be inferred that he was evil-minded when he killed them,” the judge added.
He said it was abundantly clear that the impact of the murders had been very traumatic for the rest of the family. Masemola’s brother George yesterday said the family was happy Selala had been given the maximum sentence. He said his sister had worked as a senior accountant and was a very loving mother.