The High Court will on Monday hand down judgment in the Vaal femicide case. 29-year old Lebohang Mofokeng is on trial for the murder of his ex-girlfriend. He pleaded guilty to shooting and killing Jabulile Nhlapo at her Vaal commune in Gauteng in May 2018. The defence says he didn’t intentionally kill her, but the state wants a premeditated murder conviction.
21-year old student Nhlapo was shot and killed at her residence. Mofokeng had told the court that he had stolen his father’s gun. He claims a scuffle led to the murder.
Judge Herman Broodricks, reading out Mofokeng’s testimony: “I turned and faced her and pointed the firearm at her and it went off, I just heard the sound, I did not pull the trigger, and then she fell down. After that, I pointed the firearm at me but there were no bullets inside.”
Mofokeng also claims he only wanted to scare off Nhlapo’s new boyfriend at the time. However, State Prosecutor, Advocate Robert Molokwane, argues that the boyfriend was not there.
“The boyfriend is not here, but still you utter the words and say, ‘it is the end of us, I’m going to shoot you and shoot myself,’ but then the person who this gun is intended for is not there at all.”
Advocate Thapelo Monnakgotla says the shooting was not intentional.
“It was by mistake my Lord; it was never intentional because the accused person said ‘I loved this woman, dearly. So upon seeing that I have killed this person, that is the reason why I tried to commit suicide.’”
The trial lasted less than a year, but one question remains; will Mofokeng’s guilty plea save him?
The defence has asked for a 20-year jail term for culpable homicide, but the state says it was premeditated murder and wants a life sentence. Judgment will be delivered on Monday.
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