The Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein has increased the sentence handed down to a father who killed his four children in order to spite his wife for having an extra-marital affair and for rejecting him.
The SCA dismissed Lesiba Kekana’s leave to appeal his 52-year sentence, increasing it to life in prison.
In a judgment by Judge Tati Makgoka, which was delivered last week, the SCA said it was difficult to imagine a more “callous and despicable deed” than a parent killing his own children.
One after the other, the appellant [Kekana] slaughtered each of his children like animals
Meanwhile, their mother, who was some 280km away in Pretoria, was, on the appellant’s own admission, forced to listen helplessly to the killing of one of her children, after the horrific killing of his sibling
Kekana was convicted after he pleaded guilty at the beginning of his trial, admitting that he had killed his four children – Bokang, 13, Keneilwe, 10, Hlologelo, 6, and Lekgoledi, 4 – in Moletlane in September, 2015, by slitting their throats with a knife.
He was sentenced to 52 years in prison by Limpopo Judge Joseph Raulinga in April 2016.
‘Saving them from enduring suffering’
Handing down the sentence in the Limpopo High Court in Polokwane at the time, Raulinga said the victims had been slaughtered like sheep, adding that it had also deeply impacted the community.
Kekana had previously testified that he was “saving them from enduring suffering”, as he was planning to commit suicide.
The children were killed after Kekane had an argument with his wife Lorraine over the phone. She was made to listen to her children being murdered.
During arguments in the SCA, Kekana’s legal representatives argued that he had lost his children and had, therefore, suffered loss.
But Judge Makgoka said this was an “exasperating submission” as he was projecting himself as a victim of some sort, which reflected his “self-absorption”.
Makgoka also disagreed that Kekana’s actions happened on the spur of the moment, and that they were not premeditated, reports News24
He said – in the interests of society and given the increasing rate of violent crimes, such as murder of the vulnerable in our society, including children – the sentence should reflect the community’s indignation over Kekana’s ghastly deeds.
It must communicate an unequivocal message that this court will impose the heaviest possible sentence against those convicted of heinous crimes, especially against innocent children