Brothers jailed for killing domestic and boy (7)

2011-07-05 00:00

TWO brothers were handed sentences of life and 27 years’ imprisonment yesterday for their roles in the brutal murders of domestic worker Mildred Dlamini (38) and her friend’s seven-year-old son, Kwanele Mnikathi.

The pair were stabbed to death during a robbery at Sunnycrest Farm in Bishopstowe in December 2008.

The court found that they were murdered probably because they could identify the perpetrators.

Judge Anton van Zyl, sitting with assessors, jailed the older brother, Phumlani Luthuli (23) of Haniville, for life plus an effective 20 years’ imprisonment after finding he was the leader of the expedition, and his younger sibling, Lungisani Luthuli (19), to an effective 27 years’ imprisonment.

They were found guilty of two counts of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and unlawful possession of six firearms and ammunition that were stolen from the farmhouse during the robbery.

Two other accused in the trial who were convicted only of theft for disposing of goods stolen during the course of the robbery — Zamokwakhe Nxumalo (25) and Thabani Phungula (20) — were each given a suspended sentence of two years’ imprisonment.

Judge van Zyl found that it was not justified to impose life imprisonment on Lungisani Luthuli because it was probable he was under the influence of his older brother. Besides, he was only 17 years old at the time of the murders and he has prospects for rehabilitation.

However, in the case of Phumlani Luthuli, the judge said he would have imposed life imprisonment even if there were no minimum sentence.

Judge van Zyl said Phumlani Luthuli qualified on three separate grounds for a sentence of life imprisonment in terms of minimum sentencing provisions — namely that the murders were premeditated, that the victims were potential witnesses against them and because the murders were committed in the course of a robbery.

He said Phumlani Luthuli worked as a gardener at Sunnycrest farm for a long time and knew Mildred Dlamini well.

His younger brother had also worked at the farm occasionally and would also have known her.

It was probable therefore that they murdered both Dlamini and the child in order to avoid detection.

Neither of the brothers had shown any remorse, he said.

The judge said the shocking nature of the killings was exacerbated by the fact that after Dlamini and the boy were killed the accused had returned to the farm to collect more items, including a microwave oven, knowing the victims were lying in the kitchen. It demonstrated a particularly callous disregard for the killings, the judge said.

According to evidence at the trial after the murders the accused ransacked the farmhouse and loaded stolen goods on to the owner’s bakkie and drove around disposing of the stolen goods to get money in order to enjoy themselves.

Farm owner Colin Lucke and his family were on holiday in Mozambique at the time.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.