South Africa

Man who murdered girlfriend and her mother says he was under ‘love spell’

A man who pleaded guilty to killing his girlfriend and her mother, claiming he was under a “love spell”,  was this week sentenced to two life imprisonment terms by the Eastern Cape High Court sitting in Sterkspruit.

Lesotho national Moshoeshoe Falatsa, 34, was convicted of the October 2020 murder of the two women at Tienbank village, in the district of Sterkspruit.

In his plea explanation, Falatsa admitted that he and his girlfriend, Nthati Lento, were in a rocky romantic relationship characterised by fights. This led to her running away to Ceres in the Western Cape.

“He claimed that they kept on communicating over the phone while she was in Ceres until she introduced him to her new boyfriend. When she returned, Falatsa, who claimed to have been under a spell from a ‘love potion or muti’ given to him by Nthati, still wanted them to mend things in their relationship,” said NPA Eastern Cape regional spokesperson Luxolo Tyali.

Tyali said on the day of the murder, the couple met at the girlfriend’s home to discuss their relationship but they ended up quarrelling. Falatsa alleges that his girlfriend’s mother, Pulane Lento, intervened and insulted him in the process, even though he had been assisting her and her other children financially.

He left their home in a fit of rage and returned at night, broke open a window and stabbed both women to death.

He then fled the village and spent the rest of that night in an open field. He was arrested after his friend convinced him to hand himself in.

Prosecutor Luvuyo Pomolo argued for the court to impose the life terms, stating that the gruesome murder of the two women in the sanctity of their home deserved the harshest penalty, especially in a country where gender-based violence and intimate femicide has become a scourge.

Eastern Cape director of public prosecutions Barry Madolo commended the police for the arrest and investigation of the case.

He welcomed the sentence with the hope that it would serve as a deterrent to other would-be perpetrators of femicide and gender-based violence.

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