Durban – The Ladysmith Regional Court has sentenced a 49-year-old man to 16 years in prison for attempted murder after he threw boiling oil on his wife, causing extensive injuries.
National Prosecuting Authority(NPA) regional spokesperson Natasha Ramkisson-Kara said in a statement on Tuesday that Rodgers Zondo attempted to murder his 45-year-old wife, Ntoleng Zondo, in December 2022.
Detailing the incident, Ramkisson-Kara said Ntoleng was sleeping in her room when she woke up to the smell of burning oil.
“She went into the kitchen to find Rodgers there with a pot on the stove. After returning to her room, she noticed that the smell had gotten stronger. She went to investigate when she was confronted by Rodgers with a pot of boiling oil.”
According to Ramkisson-Kara, Ntoleng grabbed a nearby item to protect herself.
“She asked him what he was doing, and then when she peered out to look at him, he threw the boiling oil at her.”
She said Ntoleng immediately fled the house and was assisted by her neighbours.
“She sustained third-degree burns and was hospitalised for several months due to the extent of her injuries. She also needed extensive skin grafts. Rodgers was arrested the following day.”
In court, Regional Court Prosecutor Ashina Devi Singh submitted a Victim Impact Statement, compiled by Ntoleng and facilitated by Court Preparation Officer Victoria Griffith.
‘’In her statement, Ntoleng said that her husband had failed her. She said she feels as if she had failed herself by not noticing the ‘red flags.’ She now avoids cooking as the sound of oil in a pot, and the smell brings back traumatic memories.
“She also has to undergo psychiatric treatment as a result of this incident, and she is still receiving physio and occupational therapy due to the injuries.”
Ramkisson-Kara said the accused was convicted of attempted murder, read with the provisions of the minimum sentence legislation, which calls for life imprisonment, and further read with Section 103 of the Firearms Control Act 60 of 2000.
“In sentencing Rodgers, the court deviated from the minimum sentence of life imprisonment, taking his age and that there was no previous history of abuse in the marriage as substantial and compelling reasons for the deviation.”
She said the court ruled that Ntoleng has the right to make representations at the stage when the accused is considered for parole. In addition, the accused was declared unfit to possess a firearm.
“The NPA welcomes the successful finalisation of this matter and is committed to pursuing justice for victims of crime. We commend the work done by the prosecution and the police.”