Saturday, 12 November
A Soweto woman has been sentenced to life in prison for killing her 62-year-old grandmother in 2019.
Nomaswazi Rachel Tshabalala was sentenced in the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Friday.
She was handed an additional 25 years in prison for 24 counts of fraud, theft of the deceased’s bank and South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) cards, obstructing the administration of justice as well as statutory perjury.
Tshabalala, 33, lived with her grandmother, Nomsa Hilda Tshabalala, 62, in Mndeni, Soweto.
In August, she admitted that she was under the influence of drugs when she killed her grandmother following an altercation after the older woman started kicking her out of her home on 14 December 2019.
According to National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane, Nomaswazi stated in her plea explanation that she reported Nomsa missing at Naledi police station on 19 December 2019.
READ: ‘I was influenced by drugs’ – woman pleads guilty to killing grandmother, setting body alight
She further stated that she withdrew money from her grandmother’s Nedbank and Sassa cards between 17 December 2019 and 3 September 2020.
The deceased’s relatives decided to rent out the house following Nomaswazi’s arrest and detention. The new tenant was busy cleaning the yard when he discovered Nomsa’s remains buried under a steel cabinet in the backyard.
Senior prosecutor advocate Tshimangadzo Xakaza argued that the murder was premeditated and that, as per the Older Persons Act, the court should find that murdering an older person was an aggravating factor that warranted a life sentence.
She added that Nomaswazi doused her grandmother with petrol and set her body alight to conceal the crime.
“The accused had an opportunity to reconsider her decision after hitting her with a calabash on her head, leaving her unconscious but alive, but proceeded to strangle her with her bare hands,” she said.
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