Oct. 26, 2021


2 min read

Court finds man responsible for wife murder

Court finds man responsible for wife murder

Justice Moroke Mokhesi

Story highlights

  • The accused contends the deceased died of natural causes
  • Deceased’s family argues that the husband has no right to bury its daughter

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HIGH Court judge, Justice Moroke Mokhesi has ruled that Qamo Matela who is accused of the murder of his wife, ’Mahlompho Matela is indeed responsible for her death.

Matela is the first respondent in the case in which his wife’s maiden family, Mofolo is claiming the right to bury their daughter, ’Mahlompho, born Rethabile Mofolo.

The Mofolo family argues that Matela does not have the right to bury his wife because it believes he is responsible for her death.

But in his defence, Matela argues that he has the right to bury his wife as they were legally married, adding that she died of natural causes.
The judge however, in his judgment submitted on Monday that there was nothing natural about the way ’Mahlompho died.

He found it unnecessary to determine whether or not Matela was guilty of either culpable homicide or murder as such a call could only rightly be made by a criminal court.

Justice Mokhesi said Matela's version that the deceased died of natural causes is untenable when seen in the light of a post-mortem report.

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“The deceased was brutalised by her husband in what is plainly a callous act of domestic violence,” said the judge, adding that this type of act offends public policy, which frowns upon women being abused and brutalised.

 “The only reasonable and fair thing to do is to authorise the deceased's blood relatives to bury her, but in consultation with her husband and his family,” he said.
The court therefore ordered that the corpse be released to the Mofolo family for burial.  

After his wife’s death on September 11, Matela was arrested and charged with her murder before he was later released on bail. LeNA


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