Tiler gets 15 years for killing client

2008-11-25 00:00

A builder and tiler who felt “exploited” by his 66-year-old employer and slit her throat in an act fuelled by “inebriation, anger and mental anguish” was sentenced effectively to 15 years’ imprisonment by High Court Judge Kevin Swain here yesterday.

Solomon Dube (50), a father of five, pleaded guilty to the murder of Danana Theresa Sithole and theft of her cellphone and a hat on May 9 at Osizweni near Newcastle.

Dube said Sithole employed him to build an eight-bedroom house for her. On the day in question, she already owed him R4 500 for completed work, but repeatedly reneged on her payments to him. He could not walk away as she owed him a considerable amount and the job was almost done.

He said she would purchase liquor for him regularly instead of paying him.

On that day she had bought him alcohol and he drank 11 quarts of beer.

While he was thinking about his “predicament”, Sithole checked up on him and again remarked he was taking too long. He became angry. He grabbed a knife she had supplied him with to do grouting and slit her throat with it. He then grabbed her cellphone and hat on his way out of the house.

The judge accepted that there was an acrimonious relationship between the two. On the day in question alcohol had also played a part and he found Dube had lost control and attacked Sithole.

The judge said it was a “particularly vicious attack” committed on an elderly woman in the sanctity of her own home.

Swain sentenced Dube to 15 years’ imprisonment for the murder and two years for theft, and ordered the sentences to run concurrently. He also ordered that Dube must serve 10 years in prison before he can be considered for parole.

ingrido@witness.co.za

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