A man who hacked his wife to death with a spade has told the Nelspruit High Court that she had been cheating on him.

Erense Fanafana Mpangane, 30, told Judge Zeenat Carelse on Wednesday that he was “forced” to attack Vivian Ntabiseng Monareng with a spade due to an “emotional situation”.

Mpangane, from Bhuikutso Trust outside Bushbuckridge, handed himself over to police three days after he killed Monareng on January 29. He pleaded guilty to murder.

Monareng, a third-year student at the University of Venda, was struck on the head with a spade three times, fracturing her skull. She sustained multiple injuries to her body.

In Mpangane’s confession he said, “We quarrelled and her boyfriend phoned. She ran inside the house and locked the door. I took the spade, broke open the door and went inside. We quarrelled again and she then told me that she was pregnant and I was not the father. She also said I was not the biological father of our 6-year-old daughter,” he said.

Monareng got out of the house through a window, and he followed her, still holding the spade. He attacked her with it.

“I admit I had no right to hack her with the spade. I got angered by the fact that she was having an affair, whilst I was the one supporting her on her studies at the university,” he said.


Prosecutor Ntsika Mpolweni said Mpangane should have left Monareng alone when she locked herself in the house.

According to the post mortem report, her head wounds were severe and consistent with the use of force.

“This indicated the accused’s intention was to kill the deceased. He has pleaded guilty due to the overwhelming evidence against him,” Mpolweni said.

The case was postponed until October 18 for sentencing.

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