How cops nailed mom who murdered two lovers, teen son

Accused ‘murdered’ two other people in EC

Pamela Selani killed her boyfriend Michael Tshangisa after she alleged that he had infected her with HIV.
Pamela Selani killed her boyfriend Michael Tshangisa after she alleged that he had infected her with HIV.
Image: Herman Moloi

A mother has been given three life sentences for killing her two lovers and teenage son, then burying all of them in a shallow grave in her yard.

In 2016, Pamela Selani killed her boyfriend Michael Tshangisa after she alleged that he had infected her with HIV. She beat him to death with a hammer then buried him in a shallow grave in her yard in Olievenhoutbosch, Centurion.

When people asked where Tshangisa was, Selani, 47, said he had gone to the Eastern Cape.

Shortly afterwards, Gift Phiri, the other boyfriend she had been cheating on Tshangisa with, moved into her house. 

However, the following year in 2017, Selani killed Phiri by feeding him poison and drowning him in a dustbin filled with water for allegedly assaulting her. She then buried Phiri in the same shallow grave she had buried Tshangisa.

She then told everyone that Phiri had gone to live in Atteridgeville, west of Pretoria.

When Selani killed her two boyfriends, she had done so in the presence of her three children, two boys and a girl.

In 2018 Selani killed her first born son, Avile Jongwa.

Avile, 17, who was a drug addict had demanded money from Selani and threatened to tell police about the two murders if she refused.

However, Selani took a hammer and started assaulting Avile with it as her two other children watched.

After Avile collapsed, Selani went outside and told her other son, who was 14 years old at the time, to remain with Avile. When she returned, the boy told her that Avile had been moving.

Selani told the boy to go outside and get her a big rock. When the boy returned with the rock, Selani took it from him and crushed Avile’s skull with it.

Both Selani and the boy took Avile’s body to the shallow grave and buried it with Tshangisa and Phiri’s bodies.

Selani then told everyone who asked about Avile that he had gone to Cape Town.

Sentencing her at the Pretoria high court on Monday, Judge Mokhine Mosopa said Selani was an evil human being who does not care about the rights of others.

“The accused is not a suitable candidate for rehabilitation and this is confirmed by the investigating officer's report. I find it strange that there can be a person who can kill two lovers and her son, and continue with her life like nothing happened,” he said.

“The family of the two deceased are not traceable. I am of the view that they were not informed about the deaths and they did not get the opportunity to bury their loved ones, and that they might be still out there looking for their loved ones."

Mosopa said not only had Selani failed to show remorse for her crimes but had blamed her son for the murder that she herself committed.

“The accused failed to show remorse and blames her son for the murders. It is also alleged that the accused fled from Eastern Cape to Pretoria because she killed two people there and one of them being  her own grandmother,” he said.

The judge said Selani was never prosecuted for those Eastern Cape murders due to lack of evidence.

Mosopa also said it was unfortunate that the trial had no victim impact statements.

Mosopa sentenced Selani to three life terms and five additional years for defeating the ends of justice.

“The sentence will serve as punishment and teach you to refrain from such acts. It will make you a better person. Teach you to respect others’ dignity and security,” Masopa said.

Speaking outside court after the sentencing, Selani's cousin Tholo Sopam said she was relieved and happy about the sentence.

Sopam told Sowetan that in 2020, Selani’s remaining son came running to her house saying her mother wanted to kill him. He was just in pants and wearing no shirt.

“He later told me that he is seeing a dead person. We then took him to a sangoma because we thought he was going crazy. That’s where he confessed her mother’s doings.”

Both Sopam and the sangoma told the police and Selani was arrested. “I feel happy now that she has been sentenced,” Sopam said with a sigh of relief.

She said she was relieved now that her cousin has finally been sentenced as she had been fearing for her life, worried that Selani would kill her too.

“I was scared that she will kill me because when the son came to my house to hide he told me that he came to me because he wanted to be protected by whatever was protecting me because her mother always wanted to kill me,” she said.

When Selani was arrested, her son was arrested too as his mother had told police that he was the one who killed Phiri.

However, the state withdrew cases against the son after he turned state witness.

Would you like to comment on this article?
Register (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.