Nicola Pienaar's mother has tearfully said she is relieved that "everything is over", after her pregnant daughter's killer was sentenced to 22 years behind bars by the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday.
Jaco Oosthuizen, Pienaar's boyfriend, entered a plea and sentencing agreement with the State and was convicted of murder, the obstruction of justice, car theft, theft, and the fraudulent use of a petrol card.
Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe handed him 15 years for killing Pienaar, four years for obstruction, three years for the car theft and two years for fraud. The last two sentences will run concurrently.
Pienaar's mother, Marlaine Pienaar-Vice, said she was pleased that the case was over, describing her daughter's murder as a "tragedy".
She said she also felt sorry for Oosthuizen's family and loved ones, who were similarly affected by what he had done.
According to the charge sheet, Oosthuizen, 32, strangled Pienaar on or around January 6 last year at his home in Station Street, in the southern part of Paarl.
He then obstructed the course of justice by burying her body to conceal the murder.
Her remains were later found under rubble and sand in his backyard, after he pointed out the scene to police.
He stole Pienaar's car, which was legally owned by Pienaar-Vice, and fraudulently used her petrol card.
Pienaar-Vice reported her daughter missing that same month, and Oosthuizen was later arrested in Port Elizabeth in the stolen car, which was packed with clothes and other items.
Oosthuizen's plea explanation was not read out in open court.