A 38-year-old Ixopo businessman, who beat his partner to death after finding her in a room with one of his close friends and what he claims was a used condom, was jailed for 20 years.

Mandla Francis Nyide, pleaded guilty in the Pietermaritzburg High Court this week to murdering Xolisile Mbelu.

He confessed to killing Nyide on August 7 last year in Donnybrook, Ixopo.

Nyide told the court he suspected the mother of his three children had been involved in an affair.

In his plea explanation, he said he and Mbelu had been in a relationship since 2000 and people referred to them as husband and wife. Nyide said they had three children.

He said during the months leading up to the murder, the relationship became “acrimonious” since he believed Mbelu was having an affair.

Nyide said on the day of the murder, he received information that Mbelu was visiting Thokozani Nyide, also from Donnybrook.

He said he was not related to Thokozani, but they were “close as brothers”. It infuriated him that Mbelu might be having an affair with a close friend.

Nyide’s plea explanation was that on the evening of August 7, he was enjoying drinks with his brother Siyabonga Nyide. He asked Siyabonga to drive him to Thokozani’s home to check if his wife was there, as rumours suggested.

When they arrived, they found Mbelu in Thokozani’s room, after which Thokozani fled while she was unable to. Once inside the room, Nyide said he found what he believed was a used condom and this angered him further.

Nyide said he used a sjambok to strike Mbelu. When she fell to the ground, he kicked her against her head. He said he stopped the assault when she failed to move, but she was unconscious.

Nyide said he and Siyabonga loaded Mbelu into the car to take her to the hospital, but realised she had passed away. He said they panicked and drove to a friend’s home, where they spent the night.

The following day, they arranged for her body to be moved to the Sibiya Funeral Parlour in Pietermaritzburg.

Nyide said he was remorseful and knew he was wrong, despite having been provoked by the circumstances.

The court heard Nyide owned a general dealer store, a building block business and was a taxi operator.

He has no previous convictions and supports six children.