Cape Town – The Zimbabwean who threw acid in his former girlfriend’s face will know his fate on Monday.
Lloyd Simbarashe was found guilty in December 2018 on seven counts, including the acid attack and murder of Nikita Lewis.
The court found that the 42-year-old stabbed Lewis 18 times in full view of shocked onlookers inside the Pick and Save Superette in Manenberg on October 9, 2015.
Simbarashe, who has throughout the trial claimed that he is mentally ill, sat with a permanent frown on his face and was very emotional this week for the first time since the trial began.
The state and defence advocates this week wrapped up their closing arguments.
This week Simbarashe broke down in court and pleaded for forgiveness from the family of Nikita Lewis, especially her 8-year-old son.
“I love him so much, the same way I loved his mother. I am so sorry for depriving the boy of his mother and for taking her life,” sobbed Simbarashe.
He appealed to the family to forgive him, saying he had not been in the right state of mind at the time of the murder.
“It’s difficult to prove now that I was ill, but that’s the truth,” he added.
The accused tried his best to indicate that he had a good relationship with Lewis’s son and told the court that he often took the child out and bought food for him.
“It would be difficult to love the mother and not the child,” he said.
Social worker Litessa Anthony this week testified that Lewis’s young son referred to Simbarashe as “evil” in the Victim’s Impact Report.
Lewis had been a resident at the Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children in Manenberg at the time of the stabbing.
Director, Bernadine Bachar testified this week that according to SAPS figures, eight women are killed in South Africa every day, half by their intimate partners.
“We are not succeeding in eradicating gender-based violence in the Western Cape. We are calling for the harshest punishment in these cases. We have to send out the message that women cannot be killed like this all the time,” said Bachar.
Bonita Lewis, told the court that she harbours no ill feelings against the man who killed her daughter.
“I do not hate him and I do not love him. All I want is for him to tell the truth. Why didn’t he just leave Nikita? He saw that there were no men in the house to protect us. How can you speak of love when you intended to hurt her and us?” said Lewis.
Lewis showed the court a Facebook post by Simbarashe in which he said, “She must surrander (sic) for all she did. Blame to Nikita for all to die”, but the accused, when showed the posts, said he did not remember them.
Acting Judge Melanie Holderness reprimanded defence advocate Sheriff Mohamed for referring to the residents of the Saartjie Baartman Centre as “inmates”.
“It is regrettable that you use that word again after I have brought it to your attention before,” said Holderness.
Judgment is expected on Monday afternoon.