Murder Files: Boyfriend gets 20 years in jail for “crime of passion”

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A KwaDukuza man has been sentenced in the Durban High Court to 20 years in jail for the murder of his pregnant girlfriend, who he accused of cheating and then killed her in a “crime of passion” the court found.

Lungani Gqwaru, 28, earlier pleaded guilty to murdering his girlfriend, Nokuphiwa Magwaza, 24, who was 22 weeks pregnant when he killed her in December 2020.

National Prosecuting Authority regional spokesperson Natasha Kara said Gqwaru and Magwaza were in a relationship and both lived in the Sakhamkhanya area near KwaDukuza. 

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“At some point, prior to the incident in December 2020, he suspected she was cheating on him,” Kara said.

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Kara said he had gone to visit his girlfriend at her home and after some time they went for a walk together. 

“Gqwaru then took her to a spot where he fatally assaulted her. He fled the scene,” Kara said.

However, unbeknown to Gqwaru, an eyewitness who knew him, had seen him with Magwaza just before the murder. 

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“When Magwaza’s body was found, the witness told the community what he had seen. Community members then accosted him and called the police,” Kara added.

Gqwaru had initially pleaded not-guilty to the murder charge but later changed his plea to guilty. 

“In handing down sentence, the presiding officer found substantial and compelling circumstances to deviate from the minimum sentence of life imprisonment.” Kara said.

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“These circumstances included Gqwaru’s age, the fact that he had pleaded guilty and that the murder was a crime of passion. The NPA welcomes the successful prosecution,” she said.

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