‘Rusted iron bar’ killer gets 18 years

2011-11-11 00:00

A MAN who bludgeoned a pregnant woman to death for no apparent reason in a city street in front of horrified onlookers on August 17, 2009, was sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment yesterday by Regional Court magistrate Jennifer Anthoo.

Anthoo said it was clear that Sihle Mhlongo (26) of Tugela Ferry is a menace and must be removed from society for a very long time.

The court heard evidence that after Mhlongo underwent a lengthy period of observation, three psychiatrists ruled that he is not mentally ill and was fit to stand trial.

However, he is said to be suffering from schizophrenia and is still receiving medication in prison for his condition.

He also claimed at the time of the incident that he was “hearing voices”.

He pleaded guilty to the charge of murder and admitted that he bludgeoned Nompumulelo Ndlovu (21) to death with an iron bar in Boom Street as she was walking with her friend, Nokuthula Mohlaung, but did not give any reason.

Mohlaung fled when the attack happened.

The incident occurred while Mhlongo was walking along the street pushing a trolley loaded with scrap metal, which he collected and sold for a living, earning around R200 per week.

The authorities have been unable to locate any of Mhlongo’s family members.

It is believed his father died in 2003 and that he left Tugela Ferry and came to Pietermaritzburg as his mother was unable to support him.

State prosecutor Sarel van der Merwe highlighted the severity of the crime.

He said it appeared that the victim had annoyed Mhlongo in some way and that he lashed out, striking her on the head with an iron bar and then continued to beat her repeatedly in the middle of the road in front of witnesses.

Society does not want a man like him on the streets, he submitted.

Media reports at the time said that witnesses to the incident alleged that Mhlongo threatened to strike anyone who came within his range with a rusted iron bar.

Mhlongo was arrested at the scene. The police were allegedly forced to shoot and injure him to restrain him.

Attempts by The Witness to locate and contact members of the victim’s family or friends were unsuccessful by the time of going to print.

• ingrido@witness.co.za

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