Twenty-eight female guards were unfairly dismissed by a security company because the client‚ Metrora.
"The system has failed you, Mrs Pakkies. You are not prison material and I am going to put you back into the community."
These were the words of Wynberg magistrate Amanda von Leeve yesterday when she sentenced convicted murderer Ellen Pakkies, 47, to 280 hours community service and three years in prison, wholly suspended for three years.
Last year Pakkies strangled her 20-year-old drug addict son Adam after suffering years of abuse from him. Yesterday Von Leeve also barred Pakkies from drinking alcohol or consuming drugs for the next three years.
The magistrate said there were compelling reasons for her to deviate from the law requiring convicted murderers to be sentenced to a minimum of 10 years in prison.
She said that Pakkies had approached the police, hospitals, courts and had even written to then premier Ebrahim Rasool and then education MEC Cameron Dugmore asking them for help with her son's tik (an methamphetamine) addiction.
l See case video clip on Sowetan On-line.