It was a coup to land such a high-level panel‚ with speakers including Finance Minister Pravin Gordh.
AN ELDERLY Port Elizabeth man has told the court how he stabbed his wife six times in the chest for refusing to make him a bowl of porridge.
She died in a pool of her own blood on the couple’s bed, which they shared for 36 years.
“I asked her to make me breakfast... She refused, so I stabbed her with a knife,” Ndumiso David Geza , 61, told the Port Elizabeth Regional Court on Friday.
But not a day goes by that he doesn’t miss her, he said.
The bizarre confession left court officials stumped, and counsel agreed that sentencing would not be an easy task.
The state and defence agreed that it was “a very unusual case”.
Geza, a Municipality employee, said he was getting ready for work at about 5am on February 8 this year, when he asked his wife, Nondodozela, 60, to make him some breakfast.
He said he suffered from Diabetes and needed to eat before administering his Insulin injection.
However, he said she refused and instead swore at him.
“I was so angry I stabbed her.”
Realising what he had done, Geza immediately telephoned the police.
He was charged and later released on R500 bail.
He said he regretted his actions and still missed and loved his wife.
The two had been romantically involved since the age of 18.
While he was adamant he never abused her prior to her death, he said she had been emotionally abusive throughout their relationship. He said this could be the reason why he snapped.
The court convicted him accordingly.
In mitigation of sentence, defence attorney Kuban Chetty said his client was extremely remorseful.
Geza told probation officers that he wanted to kill himself that day.
Chetty said Geza, who had no previous convictions, had lived an exemplary life up to that point.
“He has been described as humble, non-violent and with good character,” Chetty said.
“This is not your typical murder case where it was premeditated. There is no history of violence.”
He said Geza was gainfully employed and was set to retire soon.
His wife stayed home and Geza had financially supported her.
The couple were unable to have children of their own but raised their nieces and nephews.
“Even the sister of the deceased, who is shocked by the murder, does not want to see him go to prison,” Chetty said.
“She described him as a loving person who had loved her sister very much.”
Chetty said it was unlikely Geza would commit another offence.
“The [state] psychologist said the accused was constantly tormented by his wife for most of their marriage.
“He was driven to breaking point.”
Last year Geza sought the assistance of a social worker after the alleged verbal abuse spiralled.
Chetty said while murder was a very serious offence, in light of his conviction Geza would lose the job he held for most of his adult life, and lose his family home.
“He still sits with a conviction and no wife.
“But he does have a chance to be integrated back into society with the help of psychotherapy.”
He asked the court to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment.
State prosecutor Hennie van Heerden agreed that it was unusual for a relatively old person to kill his wife after 40 years together.
However, he said if things were so bad at home, the accused should have asked for a divorce.
“Marriage is not always easy, but divorce happens every day. This would have been better than murder,” he said.
“She didn’t want to make him porridge, that is not a reason to kill.”