Induna’s murder: teen gets 24 years

2012-03-14 00:00

A 19-YEAR-OLD man was sentenced to 25 years’ jail yesterday for killing induna Titus Mthembu in northern KwaZulu-Natal last year.

He was gunned down in August when there was political violence in the region between the National Freedom Party (NFP) and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP).

NFP President Zanele Magwaza-Msibi welcomed the sentence delivered by the Madadeni Circuit Court on Menzi Diliza Malinga. “We are happy with the sentence and hope that he will serve the entire jail term because if not, people might lose faith in the justice system.”

However, Magwaza-Msibi said her party still wanted to know the motive behind Mthembu’s killing.

“We said there was political motivation because he was receiving death threats and … his wives still inform us that they, too, are receiving them.”

She added that Mthembu’s death had meant that his schoolgoing children were left without a father.

IFP spokesperson Blessed Gwala said his party had been vindicated because the police did not link the murder of Mthembu with politics.

“When we said that this was not politically motivated, we were basing that on the information on the ground that Mthembu was the ninth person to be killed in the area because of criminal activities,” said Gwala.

“We commend the work done by the police and [National] Prosecuting Authority for fast-tracking this case because if there is a delay people start losing faith in the justice system.” He said

This was a lesson that killing a person in South Africa, be it a politician or anyone else, was forbidden and anyone found doing it would be arrested and sent to rot in jail.

Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane confirmed that Malinga shot and killed Mthembu. “He sustained four bullet wounds in the head and four on the chest …”

Malinga was sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment for the murder, 12 months for possession of ammunition and five years for the possession of the firearm.

The sentences would run concurrently, Zwane said.

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