Young dad kills to pay kid’s fees

2010-08-12 00:00

A PIETERMARITZBURG court heard yesterday that a man was murdered for R300 and a cellphone while walking in Eastwood on July 3.

Carlos Carries pleaded guilty to the murder and robbery.

In a statement to the high court, he said he saw the victim, Sithembiso Hlela, walking towards him with a bag slung over his shoulder near the sports fields.

When Hlela was a “few metres” away he decided to rob him because he needed money to pay his son’s school fees.

“I removed a knife I had in my possession and demanded money from him. The deceased resisted and attempted to assault me. We grappled for a short while.

“The deceased lost his balance during the struggle and almost fell to the ground.

“While he was off balance I struck the deceased a few times on his body in one quick action. He fell to the floor. While on the ground he handed to me money in the sum of R300 cash and his cellular phone. I took these items and left the scene,” said Carries.

According to the postmortem report, the victim died of stab wounds which penetrated both his lungs.

Carries’s lawyer, Kelvin Singh, urged Judge Wendy Hughes-Madondo and her assessor to consider, when deciding sentence, the fact that Carries is young and capable of rehabilitation and that he is remorseful.

He also pointed out that the stabbing had occurred on the spur of the moment and submitted that the rising cost of living and cost of maintaining a child was the “driving force” behind the offence, although greed may have played a role.

State advocate Ruan du Preez urged the court to sentence Carries to a long term of imprisonment.

Even though the murder had happened on the spur of the moment, it had “devastating consequences” in that a man lost his life for R300 and a cellphone.

“This is an indication of what a life is worth,” he said.

Sentencing is scehduled to take place today.

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