Bronwyn Pearce, the dead woman’s mother, vented her frustration on the steps of the Western Cape High Court where her daughter’s killer was sentenced to 23 years behind bars.
Pearce, a second-year humanities student, was attacked at her family’s apartment in Sea Point on December 2, 2016. She was stabbed five times and items were stolen from the flat.
On Monday, Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe sentenced her killer, Wasief Buxbey, to an effective 23 years imprisonment. This is after another High Court judge had rejected a 25 years plea agreement because it was too “lenient”.
Buxbey was given 18 years for the murder charge and 10 years, half of which would run concurrently with the murder sentence, for housebreaking with intent to steal and robbery with aggravating circumstances.
Judge President Hlophe said he wanted to give Buxbey a lengthy sentence that would not break him but serve as punishment and a message such incidents would not be tolerated.
“It was a vicious attack on the deceased. She was a defenceless woman. She was young and was in the privacy of her own home. However, the crimes, although of a serious nature, emanate from a single transaction,” he said.
Outside court, Pearce was overwhelmed by emotion. She addressed the media, expressing her frustration about how the case was handled.
“When they (the judiciary) enter into plea bargains with cold-blooded murderers, cases are postponed time and again.
“It loses momentum resulting in where we ended up with the Judge President who clearly didn’t have all the facts of the matter. We heard the murderer paint a very good picture of who he is, but at the end of the day he has murdered a young innocent girl. The justice system does not take women into consideration,” she said.
Pearce said by entering a plea agreement, Buxbey was avoiding trial “to hide the truth”.
In court, Buxbey apologised to the family of the deceased.
“I did not stand up that morning with an intention to murder someone, I am not proud of myself,” he said
“I do not want to make an excuse. There wasn’t a specific reason why I did it. I felt like I was not present. I know it doesn’t make sense, but it was like I was not myself. I know I won’t be able to understand what you are going through,” Buxbey added.
“To see you breaks me. I am the cause of taking your child.”