Creighton killer gets 25 years

2012-07-25 00:00

A MAN who was 18 years old when he “hunted down”, robbed, raped and brutally murdered a much older woman at Creighton on Christmas Day, 2010, was sentenced to an effective 25 years in jail yesterday.

Passing sentence on Lungisani Jili, Acting Pietermaritzburg high court Judge Igna Stretch said the sentence aimed to ensure that he was no longer a threat to society, to deter others from similar offences and punish Jili “without destroying him”.

She hoped Jili would take the opportunity to make something of his life in prison. The victim, Bascbenzile Victoria Chiya (51) was accosted whilst walking in the area, and stabbed 19 times according to evidence in the trial. She was robbed of her cellphone.

Her killer, Lungisani Jili, also of Creighton, was linked to the crime scene by his DNA. Acting Judge Stretch told Jili she could not understand why he had so savagely attacked a woman old enough to be his grandmother because he had not taken the court into his confidence.

“If all you wanted was her cellphone, I don’t know why you also raped her and then stabbed her 19 times with a sharp knife. If you did plan to rob, rape and murder her in this fashion, you should not be released back into society. You would then be too much of a dangerous risk,” the judge told him.

However, Stretch said there was no evidence before the court to show that Jili did in fact plan the crimes.

She said it was difficult to imagine what the victim must have experienced before she died but the probabilities were that she had fought for her life and tried to escape from her killer.

“This is apparent from the different scenes where her clothing was found … Although she tried to escape, you nevertheless hunted her down in your mindless frenzy,” she said.

Mitigating factors accepted by the court were that Jili was just over 18 years old when he committed the crimes; that he was a first offender, has a Grade 2 education, came from poor economic circumstances, had been subjected to negative influences in society from an early age, and that he abuses alcohol.

In addition, both his parents had died when he was young and he was raised by his brother.

He had also already spent 18 months in custody awaiting trial. The sentence imposed by the high court was ante-dated to take that into account.

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