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Distance Ubisi bludgeoned his wife to death simply because she would not tell him how much she earned as a security guard.
When she refused to show him her salary slip he grabbed a hammer and repeatedly hit Yvonne Mnisi, 22, over the head until she died.
She sustained severe head injuries and died on the spot.
Distance then tried to commit suicide by hanging himself from a tree yesterday.
But he was found hanging and taken to the Thulamahashe Health Centre, from where he was transferred to the Mapulaneng Hospital.
His clothes were still full of blood and he is under police guard in hospital.
Yvonne, of Rolle Trust, was employed as a security guard at the premier's regional offices in Thulamahashe.
Distance apparently felt sidelined when she kept the amount of her salary secret.
Police are investigating the circumstances that led to the incident.
Mpumalanga police spokesman Superintendent Abie Khoabane advised people with domestic problems to stop taking the law into their own hands.
"Don't take the law into your own hands because that might lead to legal implications," Khoabane said.
"Rather talk to the elders, pastors, social workers or even the police about situations with the potential of causing conflict."