An East London father who shot dead his girlfriend and two children before turning the gun on himself twice last year, pleaded guilty to all charges in the East London Regional Court.
Fezile Mjacu, 37, told Regional Court 1 magistrate Deon Rossouw on Friday that he had shot dead his 30-year-old girlfriend Sungulwa Four, on the morning of July 27, after a vicious scuffle.
He said he then shot himself in the head. The incident occurred in Duncan Village.
He woke up covered in blood and found himself still in possession of the semi-automatic firearm.
He said he then went to the kitchen, where he poured himself a cup of water before walking to where his 14-year-old son, Awonke Four, and 13-year-old daughter, Azipheli Four, were sleeping.
He said he shot each child in the head before turning the gun on himself again. He survived. He was charged with three counts of murder, one count of illegal possession of a firearm and another of illegal possession of ammunition.
Mjacu’s attorney and public defender Zolisa Maqhina read out an affidavit which he prepared for his client.
In it he said: “I was sleeping with my girlfriend when I received a call from an aunt in the village saying I needed to visit in December. I then told my girlfriend that I would be away for four days. She got upset and started insulting me and I insulted her back.
“She then grabbed me by my private parts and I kicked her. I saw she was reaching for the firearm which I hid in her handbag on top of the wardrobe.
“I managed to get hold of the firearm first and shot her, I can’t remember how many times.”
Mjacu continued: “I then shot myself and later woke up covered in blood still holding the firearm.
“I went to the kitchen to drink water and proceeded to where Awonke and Azipheli were sleeping.
“I shot each one of them once in the head. I then shot myself.
“I regret the incident and ask the court to show me mercy in sentencing.”
Rossouw described the crime as “outrageous and shocking beyond comprehension”.
State prosecutor Bonginkosi Mafa told the court that Mjacu was facing life imprisonment for murder and an additional 15 years imprisonment for possession of a semi-automatic firearm.
Maqhina asked for a postponement for a pre-sentencing report looking into the personal circumstances of the accused.
Rossouw responded: “I am interested in the circumstances that led to this outrageous incident which is shocking beyond comprehension.”
The case was postponed to August 24 for sentencing. — firstname.lastname@example.org