Mother, Busisiwe Labi, 34, was sentenced in the Bhisho High Court for the horrific crime of murdering her children.

Mother murders her children to spite their grandmother

The court granted the mother, Busisiwe Labi, 34, whose family rejected her homosexuality, leniency for the murder of her children.


Mother, Busisiwe Labi, 34, was sentenced in the Bhisho High Court for the horrific crime of murdering her children.

A mother who prayed with her children before suffocating them has been sentenced to 22 years and six months in jail for the murders.

Busisiwe Labi, 34, was sentenced for the horrific crimes, which she claimed to have committed to hurt their grandmother, who had refused to accept her homosexuality, in the Bhisho High Court this week.

NPA Regional spokesperson, Anelisa Ngcakani, said Labi had lived at her home in Dimbaza with her children, her mother and her two siblings. She suffocated her two boys, one-year-old Othandwayo and six-year-old Amyoli, to death while her mother and siblings were not present at home. 

“Before murdering them, she informed the children of her plans to kill them. The eldest boy, Amyoli,  pleaded with her not to do so but his plea fell on deaf ears. She prayed with the boys, took turns to suffocate them to death with plastic bags and pillows and laid their bodies neatly on a bed,” Ngcakani said.

A Psycho-Legal report presented in court revealed that Labi had confessed to being a homosexual since Grade 7 and that her family had not approve of her sexual orientation. The report further stated that Labi had said that she had engaged in heterosexual relationships with the fathers of her children because her family did not approve of her homosexuality and that her mother wanted grandchildren. She further added that she had boyfriends to satisfy her mother. 

The court also heard that Labi had a conflicted relationship with her mother as her had mother allegedly never revealed the identity of Labi’s father until she was in high school. The report revealed that Labi was angry towards her mother and felt betrayed. “A day before murdering her boys Labi got into an argument with her mother as the mother gave her younger brother money which was meant to be used for items in the household. Labi felt that her mother favoured her brother over her. It was revealed during sentencing that Labi also murdered her two boys because she wanted to cause her mother grief as the mother had a close relationship with her grandchildren,” Ngcakani said.

After Labi murdered her children she phoned her 42-year-old sister and told her what she had done.  The matter was reported to the police who found the bodies of the boys at their home. 

During sentencing Judge Belinda Hartle quoted Labi’s sentiments that although she loved her children she didn’t want to be a mother.

Hartle agreed with prosecutor, Advocate Deolin Willemse, that the offences committed were “spine-chilling”, “horrific” and that “leniency for mercy’s sake would be wrong”. However, she ruled that there were compelling circumstances present in the case to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence of life imprisonment. 

Hartle stated that one of the reasons was that, in spite of the murders being premeditated in that she waited until she was alone with the children in the house to murder them, Labi had cooperated with police and gave a detailed confession of  events and the actual murders. 

Acting Director of Public Prosecutions, Livingstone Sakata, said that the crimes were a betrayal of life as a mother had murdered her offsprings. He added that justice must prevail.

Labi was found guilty of the two murder charges on 22 July 2021. She was sentenced to 22 years and six months for each murder. The sentences will run concurrently.