36-year-old father from Ngwanamatle village in Jane Furse, Limpopo, who brutally killed his five-year-old son Thato by burying him alive in a shallow grave in 2019, was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment by the high court in Polokwane.
NPA statement in Limpopo, says Lai Phepheng buried the child alive in his yard in December 2019 after taking the child from his grandmother’s home in Germiston while the mother was at work.
NPA’s Mashudu Malabi- Dzhangi said Phepheng was arrested a few days later after he was confronted by the community of Ngwanamatle. He pleaded guilty to the charges and stated that he was very angry because the mother had divorced him.
The prosecutor, advocate Sontaga Malefahlo, asked the court to impose a harsh punishment on Phepheng because he killed an innocent child.
Malefahlo told the preceding judge that the killing of the deceased was brutal and that he knew very well that his son was a little innocent boy but he did not care about the little soul. Malefahlo also told court that though the accused did show remorse and pleaded guilty to the charges, the court should impose a harsh punishment on the accused because he killed the deceased for no reason.
Malefahlo added that the killing of women and children has become a serious problem in South Africa and the courts must send a message that these evil actions will not go unpunished.
Judge president Ephraim Makgoba agreed with the prosecutor and accordingly sentenced Phepheng to 20 years for murder and two years for defeating the ends of justice. The sentences will run concurrently.