Man Handed Life Sentence For Brutal Murder Of Wife In South Africa



Nwabisa Joy-Grace Mgandela


A man, Bhekukwanda Ian Cele, has been handed a life sentence by the Durban High Court, South Africa for the murder of his wife, Nwabisa Joy-Grace Mgandela.
Cele was convicted of his 31-year-old wife’s murder which was perpetrated on June 2020 in the Ndwedwe area of KwaZulu-Natal.
Natasha Ramkisson-Kara, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Regional spokesperson in a statement on Thursday, August 17, 2023, said the marriage between the two deteriorated at some stage, and a few weeks before the murder, Cele left their home and began living elsewhere.
Mgandela remained in the house with their children. Then on the night of the incident, Cele returned to the house with unknown men. The men assaulted Mgandela and strangled her with a rope.
They moved her to the bathroom and placed her in the bathtub with one end of the ligature around her neck and the other tied to a rafter above the bathtub. She died as a result of the injuries sustained. Cele then left with the men and was arrested the following day.
In the state’s case, State Advocate Gugu Xulu maintained that at all times during the incident, Cele and his companions acted in the execution of a common purpose. To this effect, Xulu led eyewitness testimonies. She also presented the court with Victim Impact Statements compiled by Mgandela’s family members and facilitated by Court Preparation Officer Thandeka Nadi Mofokeng.
In their statement, they said that the incident had changed their lives and it is too painful to live without Mgandela. They also said that they are now fearful of Cele. Mgandela’s mother said she trusted Cele to care for her daughter and grandchildren. She said she is still traumatised by the incident and misses her daughter.
“The National Prosecuting Authority hopes that the metered sentence will serve as a deterrent to like-minded individuals. Curbing the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide is one of our key priorities. We commend the hard work done by the Prosecution and SAPS in securing this conviction,” said Natasha Ramkisson-Kara. 


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