Three life terms handed to ‘evil’ woman who killed her two lovers and son

Pamela Ncumisa Selani has been sentenced for the murders of her two lovers and her son. Picture: NPA

Pamela Ncumisa Selani has been sentenced for the murders of her two lovers and her son. Picture: NPA

Published Jun 24, 2024


A Gauteng woman has been sentenced for murders of her two lovers and son.

Forty-seven-year-old Pamela Ncumisa Selani was handed three life terms for three counts of murder for killing her two lovers Micheal Changisa and Gift, from Malawi, and her son Avile Jonjwana, in the Pretoria High Court.

"She was given an additional 5 years imprisonment for defeating the administration of justice," said National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson in Gauteng, Lumka Mahanjana.

In 2016, Selani had been in a relationship with Changisa and the pair got into an argument after she found out that he had infected her with HIV.

"After, she asked her other boyfriend, Gift, to help kill Changisa. Gift then went to the home Selani shared with Changisa and hid in the bathroom, waiting for Changisa to fall asleep. Once Changisa was asleep, Gift hit him repeatedly with a hammer, in front of Selani's two young children. Changisa died.

"After the incident, Selani and Gift buried Changisa in her yard and Gift moved in with his lover," the NPA said.

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

The two then poisoned Gift and submerged his head in water until he died.

"Afterwards, they buried his body in a shallow grave, above Changisa's remains," Mahanjana said.

Avile was also addicted to drugs and tried to extort his mother, threatening to report the murders to police.

Mahanjana said one night, Avile chased his mother and his younger sibling out of the house, they then went to stay at her third boyfriend's house in the same area. Selani and her younger son returned home later and hid in the yard.

"While doing so, Avile arrived home and went straight to bed, while sleeping Selani asked her minor son to sneak into the house and open the door. Thereafter, Selani grabbed a hammer and repeatedly hit Avile on the head until he died, and she buried him on top of two deceased persons in her yard.

"In August 2020, Selani took her younger son, aged 14, to a traditional healer because was unwell. During the consultation with the healer, the 14-year-old told the healer about the killings.

“The healer then called a community leader under the pretence that he was calling another healer for assistance. When the community leader arrived, the son narrated the story to the community leader who reported the matter to the police.

“On the same day, Selani and her son were arrested when they returned home after consultation. The charges against the son were later withdrawn and he became a state witness," Mahanjana said.

Selani pleaded not guilty to the charges and denied involvement however, the State was able to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.

Mahanjana said Selani, through her legal representative, asked the court not to impose the minimum sentence as she was a first time offender and Chikunga had infected her with a life-threatening disease. She also said she experienced abuse from the man in her life which pushed her into a corner and resulted in her acting in the manner that she did.

"However, state prosecutor, and advocate Eric Sihlangu, argued that Selani showed no remorse for her actions as she still maintained her innocence even after being convicted.

"He added that Selani is convicted of serious offences that are prevalent in the country. Therefore, Adv. Sihlangu asked the court not to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence and should consider the outcry of society regarding Gender-Based Violence (GBV). Furthermore, Sihlangu asked the court to impose a sentence that would send a message to the community and deter other citizens from committing similar offences," Mahanjana said.

When handing down the sentence, Judge Papi Masopa agreed with the state, that Selani showed no remorse.

He said he was of the view that Selani as an evil woman who killed her two lover and her child.

"It is by mercy that the 14-year-old was not killed," Masopa said.

Masopa said he found no substantial and compelling circumstances to deviate from imposing the prescribed minimum sentences.

He further said he hopes the sentence imposed will make Selani a better person who will respect people’s lives.

"The NPA welcomes the sentence, and wants to send a message that it can never be over-emphasized how important human life is therefore the NPA will be vigorous in our pursuit of these cases to serve as a deterrent 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 said.

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