From the news desk

17 years for Benoni crossbow killer

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A Benoni man was handed 17 years in prison on Monday for murdering his wife with a crossbow while making salah at their home a year and half ago. Thirty-nine year old Shameema Moghammad Shamoon was found in a pool of blood in the home she shared with her husband Morne le Grange on the East Rand in April 2014. Her son, then 16 years old, narrowly escaped after his father asked him to kneel and “die like a man”.

The traumatised family has welcomed the court ruling. According to the Shamoon’s sister, Nisa Dawood, presiding Judge Ismail instated a harsh punishment to put emphasis on the abuse against women and children in the lead up to 16 Days of Activism.

Dawood and her nephew sat in court and heard as the accused pleaded guilty to the murder of his wife but not guilty to the attempted murder of his son.

“The attempted murder charge was led by my nephew. The accused shot at him in close range but the bow did not get to him, he dodged it and it grazed his arm. The accused said that he didn’t want to kill him but just frighten him. We [the family] were in the dark at the time of the incident, now we finally know that my sister was killed in cold blood,” Dawood said.

The accused had been mentally evaluated following the call to his in-laws, informing them of what he had done after killing his wife. At the time, the court ruled that he be placed under strict observation. However, Dawood says the accused has shown no remorse.

“During cross questioning from the state prosecutor, it was evident that he began lying about key evidence. Initially, we thought that he was drugged and not in the right frame of mind but it has now emerged that he was in full control of his actions and understood exactly what he was doing,” Dawood said.

The now 18 year old son of the victim offered his version of the incident before the court. Dawood said having to relive that day has brought up the trauma and pain he had endured.

The court proved that the accused was guilty of both murder and attempted murder and sentenced the accused with no possibility of early parole.

“The judge said that this case was something that needed to be talked about because of the celebration of women’s month. Here an innocent woman was killed due to the anger of the husband. Serious activism from women who are victims of this kind of abuse is needed. I don’t think government is doing enough to ensure the safety of women and children in the country,” Dawood continued. VOC (Ra’eesah Isaacs)

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