‘Thrashing’ of suspected cellphone thief ended in fatal stabbing, court told

2013-04-30 00:00

A PLAN to “thrash” a suspected cellphone thief ended in murder when he was kidnapped, put into the boot of a car and stabbed 19 times at an isolated spot at Signal Hill on the outskirts of Pietermaritzburg.

This emerged yesterday when a 36-year-old taxi driver, Vincent Zondi, of Hammarsdale, pleaded guilty to kidnapping and murdering Sibusiso Kubheka (28) of Newcastle on September 11, 2010.

Zondi has offered to give evidence against his former co-accused, brothers Owen (37) and Milton Khanyile (31).

In a statement before acting high court Judge S. Mngomezulu yesterday, Zondi said it was alleged that Kubheka had stolen Owen’s cellphone.

The three of them went in search of him in Pietermaritzburg.

“The Khanyile brothers wanted to beat [Kubheka] as punishment for stealing Owen’s cellphone.”

He said when they came across Kubheka sitting in his car in town, he went over to him on the pretext of talking to him.

“When I reached him, I managed to pull him out of his vehicle and the Khanyile brothers thereafter grabbed [him] and placed him into the boot of their [car].”

He said they drove to a secluded spot near Signal Hill where they intended to “thrash” Kubheka for stealing Owen’s cellphone.

When they stopped, Zondi said, he opened the boot to pull Kubheka out, but instead Kubheka “sprang out of the boot” with a wheel spanner in his hand. He said Kubheka tried to hit him with the spanner and narrowly missed his head.

Zondi drew a knife from his pocket and when Kubheka drew his arm back to hit him again, he stabbed him in the neck.

“Overcome with anger, I continued stabbing the deceased repeatedly, even after I noticed that he had dropped the wheel spanner,” Zondi said.

Kubheka fell to the ground and the Khanyile brothers helped him put his body in the bush next to the road. They then fled.

Zondi admitted that he had exceeded the bounds of self-defence by stabbing Kubheka 19 times.

Sentence is expected today.

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