A Pretoria father was sentenced to 20 years in prison for murdering his 16-year-old son. The Pretoria North Regional Court sentenced the 58-year-old man Balise Phineas Mahlangu from Soshanguve in Pretoria. Sentencing was handed down following his conviction on 13 April. Mahlangu killed his son, Nkosikhona, in January last year at the house where they stayed together.

The incident happened after his wife Nkosikhona’s mother, Leisie Lettie Mahlangu, and their 15-year-old daughter, Tumi Mahlangu, left him due to domestic violence the wife was experiencing at home, Lumka Mahanjana, NPA Regional spokesperson said.

In the middle of the night on the 28 January 2020 while Nkosikhona and Mahlangu were watching television, Mahlangu strangled his son to death. When he realised that the son was dead, he poured paraffin over the house, set it alight and tried to commit suicide by hanging himself.

Before he killed his son, he called his brother and told him he was not coping since his wife had left him. Mohanjana said the brother called Mahlangu’s nephews who lived nearby to check on him. Upon their arrival, they saw smoke coming from the house. “They managed to save Mahlangu but when they went back for Nkosikhona, they found him already dead,” she said.

Mahlangu pleaded guilty to murder, however, the court found that Mahlangu did so because of overwhelming evidence against him. The magistrate said she agreed with the argument made by the Prosecutor Jonker Marie that this was a case of domestic violence and that Mahlangu killed his son to spite his estranged wife and cause her pain because she wanted to divorce him.

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