Cousin gets life for murder

2009-03-01 00:00

High Court Judge Chris Nicholson imposed two life sentences on a northern KwaZulu-Natal man, Lindani Gilbert Dlamini, for the rape and murder of his 14-year-old cousin on February 2.

Dlamini pleaded guilty 10 days ago to raping and then strangling Mabongi Cynthia Mkhabela. He said he killed her because he did not believe her when she promised she would not report the incident to their families.

The court accepted that Dlamini was 19 when he committed the crimes.

He said in a statement his cousin approached him early in the morning to ask him to pay back R10 he had borrowed from her, and went with him to a shop where he said the money was. On arriving there they found the shop closed.

While walking back home he said he became sexually aroused after he asked her about her relationship with another man.

Dlamini said he grabbed her, pushed her to the ground and raped her.

Afterwards he was “overcome with guilt” and apologised profusely. He told her that he was afraid of the consequences as he would have to face their families.

Dlamini said she told him she would not tell, but he did not believe her. “I then decided to kill myself and the deceased. I grabbed the deceased with my right hand around her throat and began strangling her. I held the deceased’s hands behind her back with my left hand. I only ceased strangling the deceased when I was satisfied that she was dead.”

Passing sentence, Nicholson took into account that Dlamini was assaulted by members of the community following his arrest and that he consumed alcohol prior to the incident.

He said Dlamini ought to have protected his cousin, but instead had violated and killed her.

ingrido@witness.co.za

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