Three men jailed for Bisley murder

2010-07-29 00:00

THREE men who admitted to stabbing 49-year-old Dumisani Magubane to death and robbing him of his cellphone and two bags of groceries in Bisley on April 16 were sentenced to 23 years in jail in the high court yesterday.

Pietermaritzburg Acting High Court Judge Z.P. Nkosi sentenced Thembinkosi Ndlela (24), Khanyisani Hlela (18) and Mlungisi Khumalo (21) to 18 years’ imprisonment for murder and to 10 years’ imprisonment for robbery with aggravating circumstances, but ordered that five years of the sentences run concurrently.

The judge stipulated that they must serve 15 years in prison before they can qualify for parole.

He earlier found that there were mitigating factors that justified imposing less than the prescribed minimum life imprisonment for the murder.

These were that the men had not directly intended to kill Magubane, but stabbed him to death when he resisted their attack. They also co-operated fully with police after their arrests, they were young, and they could be rehabilitated.

He said they must have foreseen the possibility that Magubane would resist as they had carried knives in order to forestall such resistance. The infliction of grie­vous bodily harm and death was also foreseeable, but they went ahead with their plan, Nkosi said.

“They roamed the streets for a helpless victim … they surroun­ded the deceased and attacked him like wild animals attack prey. His attempts to fight back with his bare hands were in vain. He did not have to be killed for the robbery to succeed. He was well outnumbered,” the judge said.

He said that after stabbing him in the heart, they left Magubane “to die a lonely death in the street”.

The reason that the accused had given for committing the crime — poverty — was not accepted by the court as mitigating.

In statements to the court the accused admitted they were walking along Haynes Road in Bisley at about 7 pm when they observed Magubane carrying plastic bags containing groceries.

“We surrounded him and I drew a knife that was in my possession and pointed it at the deceased while demanding money from him. The deceased resisted and tried to assault me. I then stabbed him once in the chest. Accused three [Khumalo] also had a knife in his possession that he used to stab the deceased once on his arm,” Ndlela stated.

He said that after Magubane fell they picked up his cellphone and the groceries and fled without determining the victim’s injuries.

State advocate Candy Kander told the court Magubane worked as a clerical assistant at Edendale Hospital. His family spent an agonising night searching for him when he did not come home and learnt of his death the next day.

His wife, Xoliswa, son Njabulo (23), and daughters Nobuhle (17) and Noluthando (14) were at court yesterday.

Xoliswa, a teacher, said she was pleased “justice has been done” and that the family can now get closure.

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