A soldier in the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), who shot and killed his girlfriend while deployed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), will spend the next two decades in prison after losing his appeal in the Court of Military.
The Court of Military upheld a 20-year sentence for murder.
The soldier and his girlfriend, Ngeleka, belonged to 5 South African Infantry (5SAI) Battalion in Ladysmith and were at the time of the incident deployed in the DRC as part of the Force Intervention Brigade.
On the tragic day in question, Private Elias Mogaki tried to commit suicide immediately after shooting his girlfriend and was medically stabilised in the DRC.
He was then transferred to South Africa for further medical treatment.
On completion of the investigations and the subsequent trial, Mogaki was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 20 years in prison by a Court of Military judge on June 18 this year.
In a statement reported by The Citizen on Wednesday (October 3), Brigadier General Mafi Mgobozi said the accused was afforded an opportunity to appeal his sentence.
“A Court of Military Appeal later confirmed and upheld the 20-year jail sentence, as was imposed by the Court of Military judge,” said the statement.
The SANDF was in the process of dishonourably discharging Mogaki, the brigadier said.
“The SANDF will not tolerate any acts of ill-discipline, criminal activities, conduct detrimental to the Military Disciplinary Code (MDC) and the code of conduct among all its members, both military and civilian, regardless of position or rank level.”
Ngeleka is survived by her parents, three sisters, three brothers and her child.