PMB man sentenced to 30 years in prison for killing elderly employer

Douglas Mataula (35) was sentenced this week to 30 years in prison by Pietermaritzburg High Court for the murder and robbery of Presbury resident Sharon-Lee Deetlefs last year.

He was employed as a gardener for three years.

Natasha Kara of the NPA says in her plea, Mataula confessed that he had already broken into Deetlefs’ house twice before the incident to steal items he would sell.


Kara says he told the court on the day in question he went to see the 62-year-old woman to ask for money for the taxi, but decided to break in when she was not arrived home.

He told the court he was in the house when she got home, then strangled her to death.

“The case was finalized in consultation with Deetlefs’ family and the investigator who accepted the plea and sentence agreement,” Kara explains.

“Factors such as Mataula’s confession and his compliance with the police as well as the fact that he had no previous convictions or ongoing cases were taken into consideration during the sentencing process, thus justifying a derogation from the minimum sentence of life imprisonment.

“The NPA welcomes the speedy completion of this case and hopes that the conviction will alleviate the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide.”