20 years in prison for a life changing mistake

My name is Jacob Sello Ntoroane, I’m from White City, Jabavu Soweto. I’m the last born of five children. I never met my mother and my father, I knew him but he lived very far, in Northwest. When you grow up like that, you lack guidance. We never had facilities or programmes to join back then to keep us busy and to help us grow mentally, giving advice on how to deal with confrontation, so we could mature into responsible adults. Unfortunately I didn’t go to school as far as I would have liked to, I stopped going to school in standard 6. At the age of 22 I got married to a young lady from Naledi, and together we were blessed with 4 children. We later divorced, life has so many surprises along the way which you don’t see coming and this was one of them. It wasn’t meant to be.

I started drinking a lot, smoking weed and having a lot of friends, I had a well-paying job then, but because of my lack of a good foundation and lack of guidance, I never had a great sense of direction and I didn’t know how to conduct myself. If you lack education, you are like a blind person, you don’t know where you are going until you find someone to guide and advise you because without advice you are like a lost sheep.

See, some of us grew up like wild kids back then. Parents were not in our lives, no one cared for another, and we showed no respect towards one another, “you do your own thing and I do mine,” and that’s the way it was.

In 2001 I started dating a new girlfriend and she soon moved in with me at my parents’ house. We used to drink together when we were at the house. She had a lot of friends and they would also come to ask for all kinds of favours usually it had something to do with money. Either groceries, Beers, or just money in general. This happened several times.

She grew up without a father, she didn’t know who he was. She made attempts of finding him somewhere in Heidelburg where she had last heard of him, but she was unsuccessful. I met her younger sisters and she introduced me to her mother. At that point I began to think we could have a future together, but because of friends and peer pressure she had a drinking problem. When she was younger she had the calling to become a Traditional healer, but she ran away before her training was completed.

I didn’t hide money from my woman or my kids back then, I wasn’t that type, that’s just how I was. One day it happened that she took all my earnings that week and disappeared before I had paid any of my bills, or bought food for the house. I went to her sisters to tell them what she had done, but their response did not motivate me. So I went to her mother, again, she gave a similar response. I started to feel unfortunate to have fallen for such a woman, because she did this to me three more times, and on the third time, we had been drinking. We were both drunk at home and this time I was infuriated, so much that I began to beat her. I was overruled by my anger. When I woke up in the morning I didn’t even take one look at her. I got up and went to work, only to come home to what was now a crime scene, for murder, I was arrested. Reacting while you are under the influence of alcohol, mixed with emotions of anger can lead you to do somethings you never imagined you would do. I will always regret this.

I was now a murderer. Arrested in 2001, and between the years of 2002 – 2003 I was on trial, and in 2004 I was sentenced to 20 years. After 2 years in Sun City prison, I had long been advised by a female warder in Sun City to get myself out of that place as that place was no good. I had fallen in love with education, so in 2006 I wrote a request to move to a different prison, because it was

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