Mutilation accomplice gets extra 3 years in jail

2010-09-23 00:00

A 25-YEAR-OLD man was sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment yesterday after he admitted involvement in a robbery that resulted in the death of the victim who had his testicles and tongue cut out by the killers.

Sandile Thabethe of KwaGanda, Taylor’s Halt, pleaded guilty before Judge Leona Theron and assessors to participating in the robbery with aggravating circumstances of Enock Mtungwa (45) on July 10 this year.

According to his statement to court, he was not present when Mtungwa was killed.

Thabethe said that while he and a co-perpetrator were going to a garage to try to draw money from an ATM with Mtungwa’s stolen bank cards, he heard “muffled shouts” and saw two co-assailants “grappling” with Mtungwa.

Thabethe said they were unable to draw money as the shop housing the ATM was closed. When he rejoined the other attackers he saw a yellow plastic bag on a table.

“When I inspected the bag I found that it contained what appeared to me to be testicles and a tongue.”

Describing what had led up the robbery in a statement read out by his legal aid lawyer, Ishi Khan, Thabethe said Mtungwa had accompanied him and three friends — Sandile Ngubo, Sihle Ngubane and Mthethe Mkhize — to a tavern, but they discovered it was closed.

He alleged the victim’s girlfriend told them that Mtungwa had “a lot of money” and suggested they rob him.

“We commenced to assault him by punching and kicking him all over his body.”

After finding his wallet held only R10 and bank cards, they forced Mtungwa to accompany them to the ATM. “Mthethe produced an object that looked like an animal horn and threatened to stab the complainant if he failed to give us the personal identification numbersfor his bank cards.”

He said that after being stabbed several times Mtungwa divulged the information.

Judge Theron said the prescribed minimum sentence of 15 years imprisonment for robbery with aggravating circumstances was insufficient to show the court’s abhorrence for the actions of Thabethe and his cohorts.

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