Killer gets reduced sentence due to victim's racial slur

A gardener who stabbed his employer to death has been given a reduced sentence because the victim called him a "kaffir" and refused to pay him. (Flickr)

A gardener who stabbed his employer to death has been given a reduced sentence because the victim called him a "kaffir" and refused to pay him. (Flickr)

Appearing in the North Gauteng High Court, Jacob Pantsi Mmekwa (32) was sentenced to 15 years in jail by Judge Cynthia Pretorius.

Mmekwa, by his own admission, stabbed Sarel Koekemoer (69) twice in the neck after he threatened him and said: "I'll kill you, kaffir", Beeld reported on Wednesday.

According to Mmekwa, Koekemoer of Bultfontein did not pay him his salary at the end of August 2009. When Mmekwa confronted Koekemoer, the latter allegedly accused Mmekwa of stealing tools.

Judge Pretorius said on Tuesday that there were "reasonable and compelling circumstances" for Mmekwa not getting a life sentence.

She said not only was the racial slur a grave insult that should be eradicated, but Mmekwa had also been an awaiting trial prisoner for a long time.

Mmekwa's co-accused, Levy Mthombeni, was sentenced to five years in jail for the theft of Koekemoer's property.

Both men were found guilty of stealing Koekemoer's cellphone, gun and money. – Sapa

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