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Murder Files Latest: Axe killer dad gets six life jail terms

Murderer Nowa Makula,32, accused his girlfriend of being unfaithful and when he couldn’t sleep, he got up and killed her and their children.


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Justice came down swiftly on the head of axe murderer, Nowa Makula, who was convicted and sentenced to six life terms after he brutally killed his girlfriend and her children while they were asleep at home.

Makula, 32, was in the sentenced in the Elliotdale Regional Court to six life terms in jail, one count for each life, after he mercilessly killed his girlfriend, Nomzamo Mhlanti, 42, and her six children. He was the father of her twins and a six month old baby who were among his victims on that fatal night on 25 November 2020.

Makula had pleaded guilty to the six counts of murder committed in their home in Sidabekweni village in the district of Elliotdale. 

NPA regional spokesperson Luxolo Tyali said that in his plea explanation, Makula had informed the court that he had been in a romantic relationship with the victim, Nomzamo Mhlanti (42), since 2012. At the time he met Mhlanti she already had four children. Even though they were not formally married, he and Mhlanti stayed together and had three children. 

“On the night of the incident, the couple had an argument about Mhlanti’s alleged infidelity before they went to bed. Makula told the court that he could not sleep and just after midnight he decided to kill his girlfriend and the children who were sleeping in the same room,” Tyali said.

“After hitting his girlfriend with an axe on the head, Makula proceeded to do the same to all the five children: Azakhiwe (10), Yibanathi (7), Wineka, Thoko (twins both 5) and Luohumlo Mhlanti (6 months), killing all of them in their sleep.  After committing the crimes, Makula claimed to have tried to hang himself but the rope broke three times before he decided to flee the scene,” Tyali said. 

Police arrested him three day later in Ginberg, near Qonce (formerly King Williams Town), about 300 kilometres from the crime scene.

In handing down the sentence, Magistrate Sizakele Sihlahla agreed with prosecutor, Chumile Mkentane, that the only fitting sentence for the savage killing of innocent souls was life for each count.

Director of Public Prosecutions, Barry Madolo, welcomed the sentence and commended the swift manner in which the case was finalised. 

“The six months turn around time is has to be applauded and should be what we strive for going forward because our communities want to see justice served as quickly as possible,” he said.