Man jailed for hot iron attack that scarred woman for life

Steam iron
Steam iron
Image: 123rf/ George Mdivanian

An Mthatha man‚ who took a hot iron to his student lover’s body‚ scarring her permanently‚ was told by a regional court magistrate that women were not the property of men to do with as they pleased.

Mthatha magistrate Sizakele Sihlahla on Thursday found Thozamile Gawula‚ 30‚ guilty of attempting to murder his 26-year-old law student partner Mihle Sibembe and sent him to jail for eight years to think about his attitude towards women and relationships.

When the magistrate announced the jail term Gawula clenched his eyes shut and dropped his head. The attack happened in Gawula’s home in Ikhwezi Township‚ Mthatha‚ in 2016. He burned Sibembe all over her body with the iron and then stuffed her in a drawer under his bed.

Magistrate Sihlahla noted that Gawula had pleaded guilty and shown remorse but said the damage had been done. In his plea Gawula said he acted in a jealous rage after he saw a photograph on Facebook of his love with another man.

Sihlahla said attempted murder was a serious offence and his victim had suffered and been left traumatised.

“What happened to the complainant is often caused by men who believe they own women‚ especially when they provide for them in one way or another. We also find there are men who think they can do as they please [with women]‚ even breaking the law and forgetting that women have rights‚” said Sihlahla.

He said that in relationships there would be accusations and suspicions but that did not call for assault or burning someone’s body and face. - Daily Dispatch

X