Sentencing Collen Matekola, 41, for the Christmas Eve 2012 murder of his wife Nonhlanhla Mosia, Judge John Murphy said it was severely aggravating that the policeman had shot his wife in full view of their two-year-old son.
Matekola fired six shots at his estranged wife with his service pistol after having caught her with another man. He first shot her in the stomach and kept on firing at her while she fled. He started to leave the scene when she fell, but when she stood up, he returned and shot her in the head at close range.
Matekola denied guilt, claiming he had shot his wife in self-defence. Mosia’s mother, Catherine Mvombe, described her daughter as a good, happy person.
“I will never be able to forgive him until the day I’m dead because he killed me alive with my daughter,” she said.
Judge Murphy said he accepted that the murder was not premeditated and that it was clearly a crime of passion, with Matekola acting out of jealousy, humiliation and in a state of considerable anxiety when he discovered his wife’s affair. He also accepted that Matekola was a model citizen and go-getter before the incident.
However, it was aggravating that he was a commissioned police officer sworn to protect society, yet lost control and murdered his wife in a fit of rage. The judge described the levels of femicide in South Africa and extreme violence against women by enraged men who sought to possess them, as alarming.
“We have the highest level of femicide in the world. No country kills more women than South Africa.
“All life is sacrosanct and especially innocent women need to be protected. Those who commit femicide should know they do so at their peril,” he said.
Judge Murphy said the brutality of the murder was a severely aggravating factor. Matekola also did not strike him as remorseful.
Matekola was granted leave to appeal against his conviction and sentence.