Home International Fears for children in UK after ex-SA navy employee kills estranged wife

Fears for children in UK after ex-SA navy employee kills estranged wife


The former South African navy employee had gone so far as to set an alarm on his phone so he could take a nap and wake up when his wife was asleep.

Aubrey Pule Padi murdered his wife as she slept. File image.

Johannesburg – Aubrey Pule Padi murdered his wife as she slept, now he is behind bars and her family fears her children will be taken to an orphanage in a foreign land.

Padi, 46, was this week sentenced in the Manchester Crown Court, in the UK, to life in prison for the murder of Tamara Padi.

He will only be eligible for parole in 23 years.

The court had heard of a murder that was sadistic, coldly calculating and brutal. How Padi had carefully planned his sadistic attack on his estranged wife, even lying in wait for hours for her to return home on the night of July 7.

The former South African navy employee had gone so far as to set an alarm on his phone so he could take a nap and wake up when his wife was asleep.

The court heard how Padi had “concealed himself” in her home after letting himself in. He came armed with knives and a hammer, and carried gloves and a length of cord.

On the fateful night Tamara had arrived home with a colleague at 1.30am and the two had gone to bed.

After being woken by his 3.30am alarm, Padi “set about” beating up his wife with a metal “pull up exercise bar”, the court head.

He then left her bedroom and returned to stab her eight times with one of the two kitchen knives he had brought with him.

This, while in the next bedroom, their children Tia, now 16, and Mia, 11, slept.

The colleague found Tamara seriously injured. She was to die later in hospital.

Yesterday Tamara’s eldest daughter, Tia, celebrated her 16th birthday. It was a difficult day without her mother, said Samkelwa Sethosa, a spokesperson for Tamara’s family.

“This will be the saddest birthday that she’ll ever have as she was very close to her parents, especially her daddy.

“The grief in her face was evident when I video-called her this morning to wish her a beautiful day. I just burst into tears the minute I put the phone down.”

The two girls are currently being cared for by a friend of Tamara’s.

“The older one seems to be more affected as she’s a very reserved girl.

“The 11-year-old is childlike and bubbly like her mom. Nothing can ever take away the pain of losing parents that way in a foreign country.”

Tamara lived in Khayelitsha in Cape Town and immigrated to the UK with Padi.

After 14 years of being together the couple separated in early 2021, the court heard.

Padi became increasingly violent. On the day before Tamara’s murder he punched her in the face after she refused him the use of her cellphone. Tamara worked as a carer in Manchester and had been out on a late-night care visit on the night of her murder.

Now the family fear that the two children will end up in an orphanage.

Tamara’s sister, Lulama Mntuyedwa, has volunteered to care for the children but the adoption process has been halted by the local social services.

“Now she is awaiting the visa approval. We would love it if the media and government could intervene to speed up the visa process now that Covid restrictions in South Africa have been relaxed,” said Sethosa.

The Covid-19 travel ban has also prevented the family from receiving Tamara’s clothes.

“In our culture, we believe that the deceased’s clothes need to be washed and stored in a dignified manner,” Sethosa said.

But the family just want to get the girls back as quickly as possible to give them the support they need.

“We will never rest until we put those girls to our chest and cry together physically,” said Sethosa.

Sentencing, Judge Nicholls said of the murder: “The defendant effectively deprived their children of both parents, one through death, the other by the annihilation of trust in their father, who up until that moment they believed they knew and loved.”

Judge Nicholls said Tamara was scared of her husband. “You waited in the house for your wife to return from a late-night care visit, knowing that your daughter slept in the adjoining bedroom.

“So clear and considered were your intentions, you even set your phone alarm giving yourself a chance to sleep and ensuring that your wife would be asleep before you attacked her.”

The court heard how Padi ran away but rang emergency services and confessed to an ambulance control centre call operator, adding that he was going to kill himself.

“I am sorry for what I have done, but she deserved it,” he said to the operator, the court heard.

Judge Nicholls said of Padi’s call to the ambulance control centre: “Your conversation is full of self-pity, justification for your conduct. Like so much violence against women, you tried to place the blame upon the victim, suggesting that she had wronged you and that you were driven to this conduct. Even going so far as to say she ’deserved it’.

“And what type of parental love is it that lies alongside your child while waiting to murder her mother? There are no excuses and no fault lies with the victim, Tamara. This offence is entirely your responsibility. No woman should have to endure at the hands of a man what Tamara did in her final hours.”

The Saturday Star

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