Murder: five life sentences for Msinga ‘executioner’

2011-08-29 00:00

FIVE life terms and an additional 20 years’ jail were on Friday imposed on a 22-year-old Msinga man who was a member of a gang that executed five men.

Mnthoseni Bhekukwenza Mbatha Mpungose of the Mbabane area of Msinga was one of about a dozen men who terrorised the area in July 2009.

Some of the gang members travelled from Gauteng to take part in several murders.

Acting Judge Kobus Booyens said the murders, which nearly wiped out a whole family, were premeditated, pre-planned and deliberately executed.

Some of the gang members have died and others are still being sought.

The state alleged that the murders took place against the background of a wave of crime.

Some people split into different allegiances and several violent clashes ensued.

Mpungose was associated with a faction that was at loggerheads with some Mbathas.

He and his fellow gang members decided to kill certain Mbathas and acquired firearms, including two automatic rifles, an AK47 and an R4.

The gang learnt that the targets slept at an Mbatha home. Early one morning they entered the homestead and made the victims lie down.

The victims were Mandlawapheli Mbatha, Senzo Musawakhe Mbatha, Sithembiso Noughton Mbatha, Thengotkuhle Mbatha and Bongani Sokhela.

Booyens said that Mpungose has shown no remorse and had persisted with a mendacious defence right to the end.

For a sixth murder committed in 2005 the court gave Mpungose the benefit of the doubt about his age and imposed 20 years.

The victim was Khulekani Mpunzana Mtungwa.

— Own Correspondent.

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