PMB killer to pay R100?000

2010-01-23 00:00

ESTCOURT municipal employee Elphas Dladla was yesterday given a wholly suspended jail sentence coupled with correctional supervision and an order to pay R100 000 victim’s compensation for having shot and killed his wife’s lover in Duzimed Pharmacy on March 23, 2007.

Dladla, a senior manager in the Estcourt Municipality, shot and killed Pietermaritzburg municipal traffic officer Denis Mandla Khanyile in front of staff and customers in the pharmacy after a “chance” meeting by the men.

High court Judge Leona Theron rejected Dladla’s evidence that he had acted in self-defence when he started firing at Khanyile, emptying his gun, because he saw Khanyile move his hand towards his waist and thought he was drawing a firearm to shoot.

Theron said yesterday she accepted that there were, however, compelling and substantial circumstances in the case that justified a sentence of less than the prescribed minimum 15 years in jail for unpremeditated murder.

These were the cumulative effect of Dladla’s personal circumstances; the affair between his wife and Khanyile; and the circumstances under which the offence was committed.

She imposed a wholly suspended sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment on Dladla on various conditions, including an order that he is to serve four years under correctional supervision and house arrest. She ordered that he pay the victim’s family compensation totalling R100 000 in monthly instalments of R4 000.

Payments will start from February 7.

She also ordered that he must submit to a victim-offender mediation programme.

She said that if Dladla does not adhere to these conditions, the state can apply to bring the suspended sentence into operation.

Theron said the fact that the sentence is non-custodial does not mean Dladla is getting off lightly: he owes a debt to society and the sentence will ensure he pays it, but he will also remain a productive member of society.

However, when advocate Fanie Slabbert for Dladla later noted an application by his client for leave to appeal against his conviction, Theron expressed astonishment and said the sentence she imposed was based on submissions that Dladla was sorry for what he had done and was prepared to accept responsibility for it.

 

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