Knife killer gets reduced jail sentence

2013-05-01 00:00

MURDER victim Sibusiso Kubheka (28) was subjected to cruel treatment by being locked in a the boot of a car and driven a long way before being brutally stabbed 19 times.

This was said in the high court November 24 yesterday by Acting Judge S. Mngomezulu, who sentenced the killer, Vincent Zondi (36), to an effective 12 years’ imprisonment for kidnapping and murdering Kubekha at Signal Hill on the outskirts of the city on September 11, 2010.

Because the murder wasn’t premeditated, the prescribed sentence for the murder was 15 years. But Mngomezulu said the fact that Zondi pleaded guilty showed genuine remorse. This and the fact he was prepared to testify against his two alleged accomplices were factors justifying a lower sentence.

Aggravating factors were that Zondi - who is a taxi driver from Hammarsdale - had subjected the victim to extreme brutality by inflicting 19 stab wounds on him.

The judge said Zondi’s statement that he had been overcome with anger didn’t make sense. It was clear that Kubekha was trying to save his life and to escape when he tried to hit Zondi with a wheel spanner when the boot was opened.

“He had genuine reasons to believe that he was being taken out of the boot of the car to be killed. There is no doubt that he died a very painful death,” said Mngomezulu.

In his plea to the court, Zondi said Kubheka was suspected of stealing a cellphone from his friend, Owen Khanyile.

He said he and the two Khanyile brothers had decided to find and “thrash” Kubheka, but he ended up stabbing him.

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