A South African man who appealed against his 52-year jail term slapped on him after he was found guilty of slitting the throats of his four sons to death in 2015, got the court angry and ended up getting the sentence increased to life imprisonment.

Lesiba Kekana committed the despicable act in Limpopo where he called his wife he accused of infidelity on phone to listen to him killing the children.

His lawyer had reportedly argued that the murderer has been grief-stricken after committing the heinous crime, for which reason his sentence should be mitigated.

However, having heard the argument of the lawyer, Judge Tati Makgoka who spoke on behalf of the five member panel of judges described Kekana’s crime as “egregious in the extreme”. He immediately upped the sentence from 52 years to a life sentence.

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Reports say in 2016, Judge Joseph Raulinga ruled that although Kekana had “shown no mercy” and “slaughtered” his children like “sheep”, he could not impose a heavier sentence because when he pleaded guilty, Kekana had invoked a section of the Criminal Law Amendment Act that relates to murders that are not premeditated.

But the appeal court disagreed with the ruling. Judge Tati Makgoka said the facts of the case in question show sufficiently that the crime was premeditated.

“He used his children as pawns to be sacrificed in his battle with his wife. When considering an appropriate sentence‚ the lodestar remains the enduring triad — the crime‚ the offender and the interests of society,” Makgoka ruled.

He added in the ruling that: “It is difficult to imagine a more callous and despicable deed than a parent killing his own children. The sentence that is imposed should… reflect the community’s indignation over [the father’s] ghastly deeds.”