JOHANNESBURG – BENONI insurance broker Martin Badenhorst was sentenced on Tuesday to 12 years’ imprisonment for murdering his wife.
More than four years after his trial Â started, Judge Lettie Malopa on Tuesday finally sent Badenhorst to jail.
She also refused him leave to appeal and bail pending a petition to the chief justice.
The judge earlier rejected Badenhorst’s claim that his gun had gone off accidentally while he and his wife Yolandi were Â fighting Â in their bedroom in November 2007.
He testified almost three years ago that his wife had taunted him with her boyfriend, told him no one wanted him and slapped him.
He said when he slapped her back, she reached for his firearm and two shots were fired while they Â trying to take the revolver.
He claimed she continued to attack him after the shots went off, but died five minutes later.
He told the court he had read a verse from the Bible and prayed for his wife after she was shot in the arm and chest.
He said he did not Â call for an ambulance because he was traumatised and shocked.
However, Malopa accepted the evidence of Badenhorst’s former mistress Tania Cilliers that he had confessed to grabbing his firearm and shooting his wife after a verbal argument and that he did not call an ambulance because she would have died anyway.
Sentencing Badenhorst, she said it was sad that all relationships had ups and downs.
What was described in court and by a probation officer was that this relationship was dangerous.
“On 18 November 2007 and argument ensued. You saw a gun from the corner of your eye. You took it and shot her.
“Your version that there was a struggle was rejected. You took the gun and mercilessly killed the deceased.
“She told you you were not man enough. I’m not sure if you shot her to prove to her that you were man enough.
“You had other options. You could have walked away and calmed down.
“You did not have a licence to kill her.
“She begged you to phone an ambulance. Instead you read from the Bible.
“You locked the house and you left her there to die….What you did was cruel.
“You have not shown any remorse from the start to the end of the trial,” Malopa told Badenhorst.
She stressed that there was an outcry in the community for the courts to stamp out violence against women and children.
“It is mostly women killed by their partners. The court sees that in a serious light,” she added.
Malopa criticised a probation officer’s recommendation that Badenhorst should be sentenced to periodic imprisonment.
The probation officer had not spoken to Mrs Badenhorst’s two children from a previous marriage, nor to her son with Badenhorst.
“These children will never ever see their mother again,” she added.
Badenhorst did not appear upset after his sentence other than a sigh, but his girlfriend and daughter were tearful and angry.
His wife’s mother was in tears. She told reporters she was happy that it was all finally over and she could get on with her life again. -Â Sapa