THE 14-year-old jail sentence handed down to a former secret service agent for killing his former wife, their seven-year-old daughter and the mother's new husband has been slammed by gender activists.
Dumisani Sikhakhane was jailed by the Johannesburg high court yesterday for 14 years for each of the three murders. The three sentences will run concurrently.
WomansNet, a gender awareness organisation, has slammed the sentence as "a reflection of the justice system not recognising the worth of women's lives".
"With the 16 Days of Activism campaign approaching, we need to send a strong message to those perpetrating violence, but here we are seeing a man who killed both his wife and child getting such a lenient sentence. It is not acceptable," said Lebo Morishane of WomansNet.
Sikhakhane, an Umkhonto we Sizwe veteran and former National Intelligence Agency employee, pleaded guilty to shooting ex-wife Dikeledi Manyama, their daughter Lungi and Manyana's new husband Sibusiso Jackson in 2006.
In his plea explanation, he claimed that the couple came to his house in Kempton Park and insulted him. He said Manyama had walked into his house and told him to come outside and meet the love of his life. Then they started insulting him and told him that Lungi was not his child.
He then took out his service pistol and shot them before going back into his house, where he shot his daughter.
Before sentencing him Judge Gerhardus Hattingh accepted a report by clinical psychologist Kobus Truter.
Truter said that at the time Sikhakhane was experiencing emotional upheaval and had acted in diminishedresponsibility.