Woman Given Three Life Sentences for Killing Two Lovers and Her Son

A Gauteng lady has been sentenced for the killings of her two lovers and son.

Pamela Ncumisa Selani, 47, was sentenced to three life terms in Pretoria High Court for the murders of her two Malawian lovers, Micheal Changisa and Gift, as well as her son Avile Jonjwana.

“She was sentenced to an additional 5 years in prison for undermining the administration of justice,” said Lumka Mahanjana, the National Prosecuting Authority’s spokesperson in Gauteng.

Selani was in a relationship with Changisa in 2016, and the two fell out after she discovered he had infected her with HIV.

“She then begged her other boyfriend, Gift, for assistance in killing Changisa. Gift then went to Selani’s home and hid in the bathtub, waiting for Changisa to fall asleep. Gift repeatedly struck Changisa with a hammer in front of Selani’s two small children after he fell asleep. Changisa died.

“After the incident, Selani and Gift buried Changisa in her yard and Gift moved in with his lover,” the National Press Association reported.

A year later, Selani and her 17-year-old son, Avile, planned to kill Gift because he was abusive.

The two then poisoned Gift and plunged his head in water, killing him.

“Afterwards, they buried his body in a shallow grave, above Changisa’s remains,” Mahanjana told me.

Avile was also hooked to narcotics and attempted to extort his mother by threatening to report the murders to the police.

According to Mahanjana, one night Avile chased his mother and younger sibling out of the house, and they went to her third boyfriend’s house in the same neighborhood. Selani and her younger son returned home later, hiding in the yard.

“While doing so, Avile returned home and went straight to bed; while asleep, Selani instructed her minor son to sneak into the house and open the door. Selani then took a hammer and repeatedly pounded Avile on the head until he died, following which she buried him on top of two other deceased people in her yard.

“In August 2020, Selani took her younger son, age 14, to a traditional healer because he was ill. During the meeting, the 14-year-old informed the healer about the killings.

“The healer then called a community leader, claiming to be contacting another healer for help. When the community leader arrived, the son told him the story, and the leader reported it to the police.

“When Selani and her son returned home from a consultation, they were detained on the same day. “The charges against the son were later dropped, and he became a state witness,” Mahanjana claimed.

Selani pleaded not guilty to the allegations and denied involvement; nonetheless, the State was able to establish its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Mahanjana stated that Selani, through her legal agent, requested that the court not impose the minimum punishment because she was a first-time offender and Chikunga had infected her with a life-threatening disease. She also claimed that the man in her life abused her, forcing her to act in the way she did.

“However, state prosecutor and advocate Eric Sihlangu noted that Selani displayed no remorse for her crimes, claiming innocence even after being sentenced.

“He also stated that Selani was convicted of significant crimes that are common in the country. As a result, Adv. Sihlangu requested that the court adhere to the stipulated minimum punishment and take into account the public outrage over Gender-Based Violence (GBV). Furthermore, Sihlangu requested that the court impose a sentence that would send a message to the community and discourage other individuals from committing similar crimes,” Mahanjana said.

When imposing the punishment, Judge Papi Masopa agreed with the state that Selani had no remorse.

He described Selani as a terrible woman who murdered two lovers and her child.

“It is by mercy that the 14-year-old was not killed,” claimed Masopa.

Masopa stated that he found no serious and compelling reasons to deviate from the mandated minimum punishments.

He went on to say that he thinks the term issued will make Selani a better person who values people’s lives.

“The NPA appreciates the punishment and want to send a message that the value of human life cannot be overstated. As a result, the NPA will pursue similar cases vigorously in order to serve as a deterrence to would-be murderers.

“The Director of Public Prosecution Advocate Sibongile Mzinyani also wants to applaud the work of the prosecutor and investigating officer Sgt Abednego Boloi that led to the conviction and sentencing,” Mahanjana told reporters.

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