Mother sentenced for hanging children in Pretoria West – LNN

A Pretoria West mother has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for the murder of both of her daughters.

The Pretoria High Court sentenced Lehlogonolo Mary Bokaba (29) from Saulsville to 10 years each for the murders of her two-month-old and eight-year-old children.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) welcomes the sentence, says spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana.

According to Mahanjana, the court ordered that the sentences run concurrently after Bokaba on Monday pleaded guilty to the charges referred against her by the NPA.

“Bokaba was in a love relationship with the father of the two-month-old baby and was staying with him in his back room in his parent’s backyard. While the two were still in a relationship, Bokaba discovered that the lover was continuously cheating on her, and he was also not assisting her with the children,” Mahanjana says.

She says that on May 12, 2022, Bokaba left her husband and called her mother to help her move two days later.

In her plea statement, she told the court that when she woke up on May 14, 2022, she felt overwhelmed by the state of her relationship with her husband.

“She decided to kill herself and her children by hanging them with a cord to save them from the consequence of growing up without a mother.”

After hanging and killing the children, she attempted to commit suicide by also hanging herself but was unsuccessful, Mahanjana says.

She adds that Bokaba untied the children, placed them on the bed, and called her mother-in-law.

“The incident was discovered by the mother-in-law after she received a missed call from Bokaba.

“When the mother-in-law went to the backroom to check, she found the bodies of the children on top of the bed. Police were called and Bokaba was arrested.”

She has been in custody since.

During sentencing, advocate Piet Luyt argued in aggravation that Bokaba committed a serious offence that resulted in the loss of life of two minor children and severe emotional trauma for the victims’ families, who are still suffering from unresolved trauma.

When handing down the sentence Judge Mashudu Munzhelele found that there were substantial and compelling circumstances to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence of 15 years because Bokaba did not waste the court’s time. She pleaded guilty and she is a first-time offender.

Munzhelele said Bokaba committed the offences under emotional distress. She also made a plea that information should be made available to help women who feel they don’t have a way out.

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