Scourge of murder

2014-12-01 00:00

A TREND by “youngsters” in KwaZulu-Natal to commit murder was worrying, Judge Thoba Poyo-Dlwati said on Friday.

She also termed the estimated 10 ­murders taking place daily in the province as “outrageous”.

Judge Poyo-Dlwati made these comments when she sentenced two of the killers of Winterton businessperson and restaurateur Rajoo Grewan (41) to life imprisonment for his murder and to 15 years’ imprisonment each for robbing Grewan and his wife, Philile, at gunpoint last year.

The judge said state advocate Humphrey Ngcobo had submitted that KZN is experiencing a “scourge of murders and that according to the 2013/2014 statistics reported by the police, murders have increased in the province. The figures translated to at least 10 murders a day, which the judge said was outrageous.

“He further submitted that what is ­astonishing is that the offences are ­committed by youngsters.

“I agree with him in this regard. In this week alone, I have convicted about five people between the ages of 20 and 37 of murder,” said Judge Poyo-Dlwati.

“This is worrying and in my view something must be done to curb this scourge. Our courts can contribute by imposing appropriate sentences as expected by society. These expectations are reasonable and understandable.”

The judge said the killers — Nhlanhla Gumbi (37) and Siyathemba Mfeka (22) — showed no remorse for their actions.

Both had been earning an income at the time of Grewan’s murder and robbery on June 7, 2013, and were motivated by greed. They had no regard for human life, she said.

As a result, Grewan’s 13-year-old son was deprived at a young and tender age of his mentor, friend and father.

In his victim impact statement, the son said his father’s murder had changed him emotionally and his life was full of fear.

Grewan’s wife, Philile, though not physically hurt, was also harmed emotionally.

Judge Poyo-Dlwati said Grewan was a family man who “did what men should do: love, support and protect their families”.

She told Gumbi and Mfeka that ­although many South Africans were ­unhappy with what they earned, they ­persevered and at times their wishes were fulfilled. “I hope with time you will learn that,” she said.

Weighing the gravity of the offences, their prevalence in the country and the ­legitimate expectation of society that such crimes must be severely punished, neither the youthfulness of the accused, nor their prospects for rehabilitation, tipped the balance in their favour, Judge Poyo-Dlwati said.

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