- The mother-in-law of ANC MP Sibusiso Kula has applauded a ruling denying her daughter’s alleged killer bail.
- Mamonyane Mohlomi says she feared Kula was going to kill her three grandchildren.
- North West Social Development MEC Boitumelo Moiloa welcomed the judgment.
“The children’s death was lurking. He was going to kill them.”
These were the chilling words of Mamonyane Mohlomi, 72, after her son-in-law, ANC MP Sibusiso Kula, 34, was denied bail in the Orkney Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.
He is accused of stabbing his wife, Jennifer Mohlomi, 31, at their marital home in Kanana, North West, in November last year.
“I am happy that he was denied bail. He is a dangerous man. He ill-treated his wife and children. His children’s lives were at risk,” Mohlomi said, claiming he had once attempted to murder his offspring.
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“He threatened to drive his car carrying his children off a bridge, killing himself and [them].
“He has a history of violence. We are happy with the court’s judgement.”
She said she feared Kula.
“Kula must remain in jail until his case is finalised. He killed my daughter.
“Social workers have taken away his children. They are with a relative in Rustenburg. We all want to know why he killed Jennifer. I don’t think he will even apologise should he be convicted.
“He is arrogant and not remorseful,” added Mohlomi.
READ | ANC MP accused of killing his wife tells court she had a protection order against him
Delivering her two-hour-long judgment, Magistrate Liesl Esterhuizen said the threats that Kula had wanted to kill his children and later die by suicide were severe.
The court also viewed him as a flight risk, she found.
Kula was also allegedly seen committing the offence.
“When making its decision, the court should look at the nature and gravity of the charge, the strength of the case against the accused, and the punishment to be imposed should he be convicted,” Esterhuizen said.
The court looked at his travels overseas and his friends across the border. The inducement to abscond is real. Eyewitnesses positively identified him, according to the investigating officer. He may flee the court and the country.
“He failed to discharge the onus disposed to him that he won’t flee and abscond trial. He is likely to influence, intimidate witnesses and tamper with evidence if granted bail.
“There is also a likelihood he could undermine and jeopardise the justice system’s proper functioning, including the bail system.”
She added the court had noticed the outrage displayed by the public.
“Even though the court can’t be held ransom by the public, it must consider their outrage. The catastrophic gender-based violence (GBV) remains a human rights issue. It requires careful analysis. There is a probability that public peace and security might be disturbed if he is released on bail.”
Esterhuizen said Jennifer had obtained a protection order against Kula prior to her death, and their children survived on social grants.
“He testified that he was the sole breadwinner of his household. He mentioned that there were disputes between him and the deceased, and one involved child maintenance and such conflicts were resolved with consensus and not through the court,” she added.
The prosecution claimed Kula abused his wife and their children.
READ | ANC MP Sibusiso Kula breaks down crying in court as he remembers wife he is accused of killing
“The State added there was a history of violence between them. It was stated that she had a protection order against him.
“The State claimed there was a time when he took the children by force from the deceased and threatened to kill them and later himself. The children were once moved to their maternal grandparents and couldn’t be in that [toxic] environment,” Esterhuizen said.
“Currently, their children have been taken away by social workers. The State has a strong case against the applicant. The court is not satisfied with proving exceptional circumstances for him to be released on bail.
“Refusal of bail is not to punish anyone, even if the charges he faces are serious. Refusal to grant the applicant bail shall be in the interest of justice. Granting of bail will not be in the interest of justice.”
North West Social Development MEC Boitumelo Moiloa welcomed the finding.
“We respect the decision of the court and its judgment. We have a challenge of GBV in the country. We are telling our communities not to be silent when they see something to avoid situations where victims are killed.”
The social development department would continue offering both families psychosocial support, Moiloa said.
“We will continue maintaining his children. We have an interim court order saying the children must be placed with their mother’s relatives.”
She added the hearing would be heard on 17 February in the same court.
“He claimed we took away his children without his knowledge. We don’t wake up and take away children. We first approach our courts. Their children are happy and have returned to school. When we took them, they were not attending school.
“We are appealing to all men who don’t abuse women and children to speak to those who commit GBV. We appeal to all men to come to our centres and speak to us when they are encountering problems than resort to violence,” said Moiloa.
Kula is expected back in the dock on 24 February.