A jealous lover who beat his girlfriend to death at an estate in Cornwall Hill, after he claimed he saw her kissing another man, will have to spend the next 20 years in jail.
Sentencing Donovan McInnes yesterday, Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, Judge Mokhine Mosopa said those who lifted their hands towards women and children should be reminded that they would feel the full brunt of the law.
McInnes, 32, admitted that he had murdered Adele Bezuidenhout on the night of August 18, 2016. He said he was very sorry for what he had done, but she had belittled him not only by kissing another man earlier that night but also by insulting his manhood.
He told the court in a confession, that due to a prior accident, he suffered from erectile problems which caused some friction between the couple.
McInnes said on the day of the murder he and Bezuidenhout agreed that they would meet at a restaurant in Irene, after which he would spent the night at her home at the Rietvlei Ridge Country Estate in Cornwall Hill.
They met at the Whisk Restaurant, where at first they had an enjoyable time. He had secured her a job at Midstream Estate in Centurion where he worked and stayed, and they were celebrating this with a few drinks.
They asked a group of men sitting at an adjacent table where they could go dancing later that night and they subsequently became friendly with the group and joined their table.
“Everybody was happy and in a good mood; after paying for another round of drinks at the bar, I saw her leave the table and she went outside. I saw that she was kissing one of the men who were at our table.”
McInnes said he was very upset and confronted this man, punching him. A fight broke out as the man’s friends came to his rescue, and McInnes said he suffered several injuries during the brawl.
He, however, managed to get to his car and he left the scene. At first he planned on going home, but as he was injured and it was late, he decided to go to Bezuidenhout’s house.
He found her there and proceeded to clean his bleeding face, while he confronted her about the kiss.
“I was intoxicated, injured, and felt hurt and humiliated by her conduct at the restaurant. We had a heated argument, which turned to my sexual performance as she knew I suffered from erectile dysfunction … She said she did not regard me as a real man.”
McInnes said he became even more upset as he felt hurt and humiliated by her remark and about the fact that she did not even assist him in cleaning his wounds.
“She had no empathy for my condition. I lost control of my emotions. I grabbed her and pushed her into a cupboard.”
He said due to his emotional state he could not remember how many times he had punched her. When he regained control he tried to get a response from her and shook her. He also tried to resuscitate her, but she was dead.
“I was completely in a state of panic and phoned my brother-in-law, who phoned the paramedics … Upon being told that she was dead I went to the bathroom where I broke a glass and tried to commit suicide by cutting myself. But my brother-in-law stopped me.”
McInnes said while the paramedics were attending to his injuries, he tried to commit suicide again by running at a glass door, but he was once again stopped.
“I have the utmost remorse for my conduct that led to the death of the deceased,” he told the court.
According to a post mortem report, Bezuidenhout died of blunt force trauma to the head and body, with internal bleeding.
Judge Mosopa, in sentencing McInnes, said Bezuidenhout died a horrific death and he questioned the fact that McInnes, more than two years after the murder, asked her family for forgiveness in a letter.
Bezuidenhout’s mother, Maria Bezuidenhout, described her daughter as a lovely person. She said she was just happy that her killer will now remain behind bars for many years.
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