South Africa, Cape Town – Titus Timtos Thabo kept stabbing his ex-girlfriend inside a moving bus – in full view of other commuters – on January 6, 2020 – the 28-year-old Thabo received a life sentence in the Mpumalanga Division of the High Court, which was sitting at Middelburg.
When the bus driver had tried to intervene, Thabo instructed him to keep driving while continuing to stab his 27-year-old ex-girlfriend, Phindile Portia Mahlangu, who had pleaded with him to spare her life. She died after being transported to the hospital.
When handing down the sentence, Judge Thando Mankge quoted the statistician-general in saying that a society free of the fear of crime is tantamount to growing the economy because it enhances the extent to which women can engage in economic activities, the Mpumalanga police said in a statement.
Judge Mankge further sent a warning that tourists would be reluctant to visit South Africa if it is red-flagged for gender-based violence.
’’On that sad day, Thabo took a bus which was travelling from Pretoria to KwaMhlanga and he sat at a separate seat away from the victim Mahlangu,’’ the police said.
’’The bus reached Almansdrift C, near Vaalbank, where most commuters alighted, but Mahlangu and Thabo remained with a few other commuters as well as the bus driver.
’’He then suddenly stood up and walked towards Mahlangu, where an argument ensued about the decision she took regarding their relationship.
’’Thabo then slapped her before stabbing her with a knife several times. Terrified commuters screamed in fear for help, with the bus driver also attempting to stop the bus so that he could intervene.
’’However, Thabo instructed him to continue driving while he went on stabbing Mahlangu, in spite of her pleading for her life. Once he was done, he then told the driver to stop and got off the bus and went home.
’’Mahlangu, who was bleeding profusely, was assisted to a nearby house, where she was then taken to the nearest clinic. Unfortunately, she later succumbed to her injuries.
‘’Thabo, after being informed by his brother that police as well as community members were looking for him concerning the murder of his ex-girlfriend, requested his brother to accompany him to hand himself to the police at Vaalbank.
’’The police management trusts that the sentence will bring hope to victims of GBV as well as send a strong message to perpetrators of all forms of crime, especially when such a crime is directed towards women and children, that severe punishment exists for such offenders.’’