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Man sentenced to life in prison for murdering wife and assaulting daughter with panga

A Mpumalanga man has been sentenced to life for killing his wife.

  • A 38-year-old man has been sentenced in the Mpumalanga High Court to life in prison for murdering his wife. 
  • The court also sentenced him to an additional 10 years behind bars for assaulting his five-year-old daughter with a panga and burning her on a stove. 
  • He pleaded not guilty but was implicated by his daughter and subsequently found guilty. 

A 38-year-old man from Mpumalanga has been sentenced to life in prison for murdering his wife and an additional 10 years for assaulting his daughter with a panga and burning her on a stove.

Lucky Bheki Ngwenya was sentenced in the Mpumalanga High Court, sitting in Breyten, on Thursday after being found guilty of murdering his spouse, Hlengiwe Vilakazi, and attacking his five-year-old daughter.  

According to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), on 22 September while Vilakazi and her two children were sleeping at their home, Ngwenya arrived and went to Vilakazi’s bedroom where an argument ensued.

“Ngwenya stabbed her in the head with a knife. He further assaulted and burnt their five-year-old daughter on the stove. Vilakazi died on the scene and Ngwenya was arrested later,” NPA spokesperson Monica Nyuswa said in a statement.

READ | 30 hotspots identified around SA where of gender-based violence and femicide are most rife

While Ngwenya pleaded not guilty, the State led evidence of the five-year-old daughter who testified through an intermediary.


She implicated her father and her injuries were confirmed by a forensic nurse, Nyuswa said.

“Vilakazi’s sister testified that, at the time of the murder, she received a call from Ngwenya that he had killed the dog.

“Their 13-year-old son also testified that he often intervened when his parents had a fight. He further told the court that during one of the incidents he had hit his father with a stick in defence of his mother.”

During sentencing proceedings, Vilakazi’s brother testified for the State in aggravation of sentence and told the court Vilakazi’s children were now staying with her sister.

He added Vilakazi’s family was experiencing financial difficulties in supporting the children.

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