NATIONAL NEWS - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has welcomed the sentence handed down by a high court to a 36-year-old father from Jane Furse who was found guilty of the murder of his young son.
In a statement, Mashudu Malabi Dzhangi, Regional Spokesperson for the Directors of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Limpopo, says the Limpopo High Court on Wednesday, 3 March sentenced Lai Phepheng, 36, from Ngwanamatle Village to 20 years imprisonment.
Phepheng buried his five-year-old son, alive, in 2019.
“In December 2019, Phepheng took the child from his grandmother’s home in Germiston, without the knowledge of the child’s mother, and brought him to Jane Furse. He then buried the child in a shallow grave in his yard.”
Phepheng was arrested a few days later after the child’s body was discovered. In an earlier statement Police Spokesperson, Brig Motlafelo Mojapelo, explained that the child’s body was discovered after residents of the village spotted something which looked like a grave in the yard and questioned the father.
“The father attempted to flee but was chased after and caught and taken back to the yard where he was told to dig up the soil. The already decomposed body was discovered and police were notified.”
In court, Phepheng pleaded guilty to the charges and stated that he was very angry because the mother divorced him.
Prosecutor Sontaga Malefahl asked the court to impose a harsh punishment on Phepheng because he killed an innocent child over a domestic-related dispute.
“The killing of the deceased was brutal. He knew very well that his son was an innocent boy, but he did not care about the little soul. Although the accused did show remorse and pleaded guilty to the charges, the court should impose a harsh punishment on the accused because he killed the deceased for no reason.”
He added that the killing of women and children has become a serious problem in South Africa and the courts must send a message that these evil actions will not go unpunished.
Judge President Makgoba agreed with the prosecutor and accordingly sentenced Phepheng to 20 years for murder and two years for defeating the ends of justice. These sentences will run concurrently.