Woman kills police officer boyfriend because of rough tlof tlof

Zanele Mkhonto, a 30-year-old woman from Mpumalanga, received a 20-year prison sentence for the murder of her boyfriend, Sgt Mandlenkosi Happy Thwala, a police officer. The sentencing was delivered by the Mpumalanga High Court, as stated by Monica Nyuswa, the spokesperson for Mpumalanga NPA.

Woman sentenced for killing police officer boyfriend

Zanele Mkhonto in court

“This is after Mkhonto pleaded guilty in November 2023, and was subsequently convicted of murder. She told the court that she was in a romantic relationship with the deceased and were residing together from January to July 2022 in Gedlembane, Pienaar,” Nyuswa said. After realising that their relationship was volatile she left for her parental home.

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On August 2, 2022, Mkhonto visited the deceased in Gedlembane and an altercation between the two ensued. According to Mkhonto their issue was resolved and they engaged in sexual intercourse. She alleges that the deceased was too rough which made her believe that he was punishing her. He then fell asleep and the accused took the deceased’s service pistol and fatally shot him several times while asleep in bed.

“Mkhonto then left the scene, taking the deceased’s firearm and vehicle. On her way to her homestead in Masoyi, she came across a roadblock in Zwelisha, near KaBokweni and threw away the deceased’s firearm which was found by members of the public the following morning.”

Zanele Mkhonto

On her arrival home, she told a friend about the murder and the police were informed.

“She was subsequently arrested and the state successfully opposed her release on bail.”

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In aggravation of sentence, state advocate Zwelethu Mata told the court that the accused did not show any remorse for her actions.

“Instead, she attempted to trivialise her actions with untested narratives via pre-sentence reports. Advocate Mata objected to these reports and further highlighted that this kind of offence amounts to domestic violence and the society awaits with bated breath to see whether the court will treat female accused with soft hands, as opposed to male accused in cases of domestic violence,” Nyuswa said in a statement.

Police officer boyfriend

The victim impact statements detailed how the loss of Thwala affected his family. “They said Thwala was the only person in the family who had a decent job , he financially supported his siblings and the entire family.

“Acting judge Sheila Msibi remarked that the killing of a police officer is a loss to the state and the society at large. She said, ‘law enforcement officers are servants of the law.’ She found that there were substantial and compelling circumstances justifying deviation from the ordained minimum sentence of life.”

Mkhonto was sentenced to 20 years’ direct imprisonment, and was automatically declared unfit to possess a firearm in terms of section 103 of the Firearms Control Act.

“The National Prosecuting Authority urges the public to seek help whenever they have domestic violence challenges. This case highlights that the criminal justice system works for all citizens despite their gender,” Nyuswa said.


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