Teen killer driven by ‘evil’ lover

2009-08-27 00:00

A TEENAGER who admitted stabbing his uncle to death for allegedly threatening to kill his girlfriend was sentenced to an effective eight years in prison yesterday after the court ruled that he was under the “evil influence” of his lover.

Siphesihle Mahlaba (18) was only 17 years old at the time of the murder.

He pleaded guilty to the murder charge before Acting Judge Kobus Booyens and assessors on Tuesday, a day after his former girlfriend, Thandeka Zondi (22), also admitted guilt and was jailed for 20 years for her role in the crime.

In her plea, Zondi said she had been threatened with death by the victim, Mondli Mahlaba, and three friends. She said the men were angry with her after her promise to them that a sangoma would get them jobs failed to materialise.

In his statement to the court this week, Siphesihle confirmed this and said the two of them believed that if they killed Mondli then his friends would also leave Thandeka alone.

“We agreed that I would stab him with a knife at night,” he said.

He said Zondi was going to persuade Mondli’s girlfriend “not to sleep with him” on the night in question so that they could carry out the plan.

They did so and he (Siphesihle) stabbed Mondli in the neck and chest, killing him.

Sentencing Siphesihle yesterday, Acting Judge Booyens said the biggest factor in his favour was that he was only 17 years old at the time of the murder and that Zondi was “clearly an evil influence” over him.

He said the accused was young enough to become a useful member of society and the sentence he imposed was intended to enable him to enter society “as a better man”.

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