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'Kutumela showed no remorse'

Zanele Khumalo's father says the judge may have erred by not giving Kutumela a harsher sentence.

Thato Kutumela, who strangled his girlfiend Zanele Khumalo to death three years ago, was sentenced to 20 years in prison on 28 March. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - A Pretoria father says the judge who sentenced his daughter's killer may have overlooked the importance of certain aggravating factors before deciding on the appropriate punishment.

Although Themba Khumalo initially welcomed the sentence handed down to Thato Kutumela in the North Gauteng High Court yesterday, he now says the punishment should be harsher.

He strangled his 18-year-old model girlfriend Zanele Khumalo three years ago at her parents' Garsfontein home.

She was five months pregnant with his child at the time.

It also emerged during court proceedings that Kutumela was abusive, controlling and jealous of his model girlfriend and often threatened and assaulted her in public.

Khumalo says the sentence isn't harsh enough.

"We also feel that the judge probably erred in certain factors which were crucial. Our daughter didn't die alone, this monster killed two people."

Khumalo says the family were actually hoping for life imprisonment.

He also says other young women can learn from his family's tragedy.

"I would like South African teenagers, girls especially, to draw a lesson out of our tragedy and out of the tragedy of the Steenkamp family."

The Khumalo family met with slain model Reeva Steenkamp's mother June yesterday to share their experiences.

The ANC Women's League (ANCWL) echoes Khumalo's sentiments and says it's not satisfied with the sentence given to Kutumela.

The ANCWL's Jackie Mofokeng says the sentence isn't long enough.

"He is still young and if he isn't properly rehabilitated he could still come back and do more."

The NPA's Nathi Mncube says, "We see this as a step towards victory against those who abuse women and vulnerable groups. We are happy with this sentence and we hope it will act as a deterrent towards other potential offenders."

Speaking during sentencing on Friday, Judge Johan Kruger said society was sick and tired of the high incidents of violence to which law abiding citizens were being subjected to.

Kutumela will serve his jail sentences concurrently.

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