Soweto man sentenced to three life terms plus 15 years for killing his wife and children

The High Court of South Africa Gauteng Local Division, Johannesburg sentenced Gideon Sabata Mdlane, to three life imprisonment terms plus 15 years, following his conviction on three counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.

Mdlane resided with his wife and three children in Diepkloof, Soweto. On 12 May 2022, Mdlane’s wife, Gcinibusile Mbata, arrived home late from work. Mdlane confronted her about her late coming. She said she knocked off late. Mdlane walked out of the house and went to his friend.

NPA spokesperson, Phindi Mjonoindwane said when Mdlane came back home, he overheard his wife’s conversation with someone telling them she wanted out of the marriage. An argument ensued between him and his wife that resulted in him stabbing Mbata several times in her body. The accused then fetched two more knives from the kitchen, then stabbed his children,aged 7, 5 and 1, and laid them on the bed in his bedroom. When Mdlane was done stabbing his family, he then called a relative to tell them what he had done. He then hung himself from a plank in the ceiling with an electric cord.

The plank broke and he fell to the floor. After the first suicide attempt failed, Mdlane drank Jeyes fluid mixed with car battery water, but it was unsuccessful. His wife and two children died on the scene. The 5-year-old child and Mdlane were both taken to hospital where they were treated. Mdlane was then arrested at the hospital.

In court, Mdlane pleaded guilty to all allegations. Senior State Advocate Rolene Barnard argued that the same facts placed before the court by the accused, amount to premeditated murder and the accused should be found guilty as such.

Acting Judge Allie, agreed with the state that the accused’s actions in this case evidenced ‘premeditation’. The accused was on his way to the garage when he changed his mind and decided that he wanted to inflict pain on his wife, he did this with intention. As for the minor children, the accused, again in his own words, decided that the children should not be left orphans and they must be killed.

“The court can think of no other intention in the circumstances of the killing of the children than that of dolus directus” remarked AJ Allie.

The NPA lauds the efforts of Adv Rolene Barnard and Investigation Officer Captain Vinny Saunders in ensuring that Mdlane is sent to prison. Gender-based violence cannot be tolerated.

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