VICTIM: Nikita Lewis, 24
“Nikita never stood a chance.”

These were the words of acting Judge Melanie Holderness as she sentenced Lloyd Dube Simbarashe, 40, to life behind bars for the murder of his 24-year-old girlfriend at the Cape High Court on Thursday.

The Zimbabwean, who claimed he was mentally ill, was found guilty of stabbing the young mom 34 times at a shop near the Saartjie Baartman Centre in Athlone on 9 October 2015.

This following two earlier incidents in which he threw acid in her face and attacked her mother, Belinda, and ouma Hilda Isaacs in their home.

Simbarashe was found guilty on one count of murder, housebreaking and five counts of assault.

In her judgement, Holderness said the murder was not a crime of passion, as Simbarashe had stalked Nikita and waited for her outside a shop.

“She tried to escape his clutches and fought him off, but nothing she did would deter the accused from carrying out his nefarious and deadly attack,” said Holderness.

“He sat on top of her making escape impossible and started stabbing her.

“The deceased fought to the end, it was only when the accused started stabbing her after he had pinned her to the ground with the full weight of his body that she surrendered to her fate.

“The murder was planned, premeditated and carried out with cold and calculated brutality.

SENTENCED: Lloyd Dube Simbarashe will rot in jail

She said despite Simbarashe’s claims that he did not recall the two violent attacks on Nikita and that he had a mental illness were not proven and he showed no remorse for taking the life of the young mom.

Defence lawyer, Sheriff Mohammed, also came under fire from Holderness for referring to the abuse victims at the Saartjie Baartman Centre as “inmates” during the trial.

She said she would be sending a copy of the judgement, which included his conduct, to the Legal Aid Board for investigation.

Simbarashe was sentenced to life in prison for murder, three years for the acid attack, five years for burglary, and five and a half years for the assaults.

The sentences will run concurrently.

Outside court Belinda said she was happy with the judgement.

“I am happy, but I think they should punish guys like this and take their lives away,” the mother said.

“I definitely feel this is justice for my daughter. She died in vain and there is nothing you can do. The past four years have been terrible for our family.”

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