The former leader of the ANC youth wing, Patrick Wisani has been sentenced to 20 years behind bars for murdering his girlfriend.
The former leader Wisani was arraigned before the Johannesburg High court which found him guilty of murdering his then 24-year-old partner, Nosipho Mandleleni, in Yeoville in September 2015.
The court convicted the 32-year-old for not just murdering Mandleleni. it also convicted him of assaulting her twin sister, Siphokazi Mandleleni, and her friend Zimbini Mathibe in a bid to stop them from testifying against him.
Judge Ismail Mohamed, on Thursday, gave Wisane 20 years for murder, one year for assault and one year for intimidation.The assault and intimidation counts would run concurrently with the murder sentence.
“The accused’s actions were careless. The accused showed no remorse,” Mohamed said.
“I agree this was not a premeditated murder but rather that you acted in rage and anger.” the judge added, pointing out that the only thing in Wisani’s favour was that he had no previous convictions and that he is educated.
He said, after much consideration of both arguments presented in mitigation and aggravation, Patrick Wisani deserved life imprisonment while the defence said 12 years was a suitable sentence.
The court gallery was packed to capacity with members of People opposing Women Abuse (POWA) and Sonke Gender Justice.
Noting the prevalence of domestic violence in the country, Judge Ismail condemned Wisani’s arrogance and lack of remorse as he called the witnesses liars. He told the packed court that the cycle of violence against women needed to end.
“No educated person would behave this way. This kind of behaviour has no place in our Constitutional dispensation,” he said.
Patrick Wisani was heartless for allowing her to bleed to death; he was arrogant and had intimidated witnesses, he said
Meanwhile, the mother of the deceased Noxolo Mandleleni said to the media that she had nothing to say about court’s decision especially as it would not bring back her child.
“I can’t say anything because my child won’t come back from the dead. It’s a small sentence. I wanted him to get life imprisonment”. she said.
To this, Wisani’s lawyer Corne Kriel said: “This is not the type of case to have a life sentence because he is a first offender, at the prime of his life and could have a good impact on the community once rehabilitated and released from prison.”
National Prosecution Authority (NPA) spokesperson Phindi Mjonodwano had, however, welcomed the sentence and believe it’s appropriate and the judge made a decision from the information before him.
“We in agreement when he says such behaviour has no place in our constitutional dispensation. It calls for all arms of the state to work as a collective in order to deal with such issues effectively,” said Mjonodwano.