Life terms for double murderers welcomed

2012-04-23 00:00

MARGATE residents and their local policing community have welcomed the life sentences imposed on killers who committed double murders in the town in 2010.

They were told their fate last week.

Nonto Alli Mohamed Mbhele (33) and Xolani Khanyayo (30) appeared in the Mtunzini High Court, near Empangeni, for the robbery and murder of John Barret (59) and his mother Margaret Johanna Barret (89).

The mother and son were attacked and brutally killed at their Margate home in April 2010.

John had been busy in his garage when

Mbhele and Khanyayo entered into the property. He was beaten on the head with a brick and killed.

The pair then went into the house and ransacked it.

They assaulted and raped Margaret before killing her with a brick as well. Their bodies were discovered by neighbours. The killers were arrested a week later.

Mbhele was convicted on two counts of murder and aggravated robbery. He was sentenced to two life terms for murder and a further 15 years’ imprisonment for robbery.

Khanyayo was convicted and sentenced to two life terms for murder, a life sentence for rape and 18 years’ imprisonment for aggravated robbery.

Margate cluster commander Brigadier Morris Moodley welcomed the sentences, saying: “These callous criminals got what they deserved. The sentences are very fitting and society is a much safer place with those two murderers behind bars.”

He added that the life sentence for rape should send a warning to rapists.

“We were surprised by the life sentence for rape, but that should show rapists that they must not take it for granted that they will get anything less than a life sentence.

“It is a serious crime and we commend the justice system for the stance it took on the crime.”

The Witness reported last week on the conviction and sentence of Sbonelo Ian Musha (27), who — in a crime of passion — killed a Margate police constable and a woman with multiple gunshot wounds.

Musha, who was a reservist at the station, booked out a service pistol and killed Sipho Danca (27) and Monica Cele (21) in March 2010. He received two life sentences for both murders. He also received a seven-year sentence for attempted murder after he tried to kill the deceased’s friend, Queen Gushu (21).

Moodley said that Musha, who now sits in jail, threw away the opportunity to be of service to his community.

“An individual who was issued with a firearm to protect innocent people from criminals instead used it to rob innocent young people of their lives. There is no place for such people in the police service.”

He commended his detectives for the excellent investigations that secured the convictions and subsequent life sentences.

“We are very lucky in Margate. When serious crimes are reported we have excellent detectives who are dedicated. I am very proud of them.”

He added that community involvement had also played a key role in the investigations.

“Without the community we would not be unable to do our jobs. They supply the police with information. Community involvement is critical,” he said.

Ward councillor for Margate, George Henderson, said the arrests would revive public faith in the police and justice system.

“We hope these convictions and sentences will stop the vigilante behaviour that we sometimes see. People cannot take the law into the own hands.

“This will give people confidence that the police have been working hard to clean up our streets and the justice system is there to punish these criminal. Sometimes it takes long but it depends on the merits of a case,” he added.

Henderson said that the convictions and sentences would give the victims’ families closure.

“It is a final closure that the family need. It also gives the family and community some positive news about crime.”

• witness@feveronline.co.za

‘What they deserved’

Life terms for double murderers welcomed

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