Inconvenient’ girlfriend died ‘horribly’

2013-04-22 00:00

WHEN a bullet to the back failed to kill Eunice Mthethandaba (31), it took her killers a further 30 minutes to strangle her.

Mthethandaba had become an inconvenience to her boyfriend, Mandla Masikane (32), who had found another girlfriend.

Masikane — who was sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment in 2009 for the 2008 murder — had hired Musawenkosi Khuzwayo (30) to help him and the men lay in wait for her in her Edendale home.

Acting high court Judge Ben van Heerden found that, for R3 000, Khuzwayo had held Mthethandaba while she was shot in the back by Masikane.

When the bullet didn’t kill her, Khuzwayo pinned her to the ground while Masikane strangled her with an electrical cord and his hands.

Van Heerden sentenced Khuzwayo to life imprisonment on Friday, saying that Mthethandaba had died a “most horrible death”.

“She would have been in shock. A shock that must have been exacerbated by the realisation that she was being killed by people she knew very well.”

The judge said that after her murder, Mthethandaba’s body was put into the boot of a car and “dumped like a bag of rubbish” near Henley Dam.

He said Masikane had a new girlfriend, and Mthethandaba had “simply become a nuisance” to the couple.

“She had to be removed so that he and his new girlfriend could continue their relationship unhindered,” the judge said.

He said it appeared that Masikane had been sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment because the court hearing his case found his motivation “by the classic love triangle and jealousy” to be an extenuating factor.

That wasn’t the case with Khuzwayo, he said.

“As far as he [Khuzwayo] is concerned, the murder was cold-blooded and mercenary.

“He didn’t know the deceased. She didn’t threaten him with any harm. He ruthlessly killed her simply for monetary gain.”

The judge said Khuzwayo made a confession to police , but later denied having done so freely and voluntarily.

He later denied involvment in the murder and showed no remorse for his actions.

The court agreed with submissions by Khuzwayo’s lawyer, Eric Zaca, however, that another court might arrive at a different conclusion, and granted Khuzwayo leave to appeal both his conviction and sentence.

Mthethandaba’s aunt, Elizabeth Mandondo, said her sister, Violet, was “still crying” over her daughter’s death and could not bear to come to court on Friday.

She welcomed the life sentence imposed on Khuzwayo.

Mandondo said her niece — who was working at a casino when she was killed — left behind a son, now 16 years old, who is in her sister’s care.

• ingrido@witness.co.za

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