Justice was served after a man who killed his 19-year-old ex-girlfriend and two young girls by pouring petrol over them and torching the house they were sleeping in has received three life sentences.
However, justice wasn’t handed down uickly as Buti Simon Mduduzi Dlamini had been in hiding in the Free State for six years. He had committed the crime in 2013 at Grootvlei, near Embalenhle, in Mpumalanga.
Police tracked Dlamini down at his hiding place in the Free State in September last year. Dlamini was convicted on November 5.
When handing down the sentence, Judge Thando Mankge indicated that the 24 years’ jail for attempted murder and five years for arson will run concurrently with the three life sentences.
In a statement, the police management in Mpumalanga expressed their elation over the hefty sentence handed down to Dlamini.
The court heard that Dlamini’s actions had been triggered on receiving news that the abusive relationship he had subjected his girlfriend, Xolisile Josephine Mokoena, to had come to an end.
After the break-up, Dlamini orchestrated the plan to target the home where Mokoena was staying with her uncle, together with her niece and cousin.
On October 5, 2013, Dlamini bought petrol, which he stored in a portable container, and waited for Mokoena’s family to go to sleep. A neighbour, who was a minor, slept over at the house as she would occasionally do whenever her mother was working the night shift.
Dlamini then broke into the house at night and sprinkled petrol over his ex-girlfriend and the two young girls (the niece and the neighbour) before setting them alight. He then torched the whole house and fled the scene.
Mokoena’s uncle and cousin were woken up by the smoke and flames that engulfed the house. They tried in vain to rescue the girls – Mbali Maria Mokoena, 14, and Mamokete Carolina Mofokeng, 11 – from the flames.
They managed to rescue Mokoena but she succumbed to her injuries after being taken to Heidelberg Hospital and later transferred to Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto.