Hijacker’s 25-year jail term is deserved, says victim

2008-03-01 00:00

The victim of a hijacking incident that left him confined to a wheelchair said yesterday that even though he has forgiven his attacker, he is "over the moon" that the hijacker was sentenced effectively to 25 years’ jail.

"He deserves that," said Thembinkosi Goodwill Mabaso in response to the sentence that Judge Thumba Pillay handed down on self-confessed hijacker, Mbusowhenkhosi Nkandi (23) of Ashdown.

Mabaso told Weekend Witness he approached Nkandi earlier in the accused’s dock and told him that he indeed does forgive him for his crime.

"He responded by saying he will pray for me to recover," Mabaso said wiping tears from his eyes.

Mabaso also shook hands after the sentencing with the hijacker’s father, Alfred Nkandi, with whom he also had "made peace".

Nkandi senior said he is "okay" with the sentence and that he had expected a longer term.

The hijacker pleaded guilty on Thursday to charges of attempted murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and unlawful possession of a 9 mm pistol.

Mabaso was shot in the neck on the night of 13 August 2005, dragged from his car and left for dead. The injury left him paralysed for life.

Passing sentence Judge Pillay said hijackings are a scourge in South Africa and "every motorist’s nightmare".

He said the action of Nkandi and his co-perpetrator, Siyabonga Lushaba, was a "senseless and wanton act of violence". But for the victim playing dead, the court had every reason to believe that Nkandi or his companion would have gone further to ensure his death, he added.

ingrido@witness.co.za

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