Justice at last for Bongiwe

2017-03-09 06:00
Masithembe Solontsi, Phumlani Nyewu, Melikhaya Mgushelo and Thabiso Balithoba were sentenced at Western Cape High Court earlier on Monday.

Masithembe Solontsi, Phumlani Nyewu, Melikhaya Mgushelo and Thabiso Balithoba were sentenced at Western Cape High Court earlier on Monday.

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Bongiwe Ninini has received justice at last. Cape Town High Court Acting Judge Mushtak Parker has handed down a life sentence for each of her four killers.

Masithembe Solontsi, Phumlani Nyewu, Melikhaya Mgushelo and Thabiso Balithoba killed her and then dumped her lifeless body in an open drain, not far from where she lived.

The murder took place on Saturday 18 July 2015, in Ikhwezi Park.

The Western Cape Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Khombinkosi Jula, welcomed the conviction and sentencing of the four convicted killers.

The murder and the subsequent trial made headlines in the media in the Western Cape, moreover as it had taken place on the birthday of one of South Africa’s most revered leaders, Nelson Mandela.

It was also at a time when the nation was still reeling at his demise, a mere one-and -a- half years earlier.

Ninini was 20-years-old at the time of her death. An intensive investigation into the case led to the swift arrest of three suspects between the ages of 19 and 21 who resided in Site C in Khayelitsha. They first appeared in the Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court on the morning of 29 July 2015.

“Khayelitsha residents stood by police in their area and came forward with information to assist the SAPS with the investigation,” said Commissioner Jula.

He said they welcomed the convictions of four men for the murder.

“The team of detectives who worked on the case are lauded for their thorough investigation to ensure the four convictions.

“As the SAPS worked closely with the community of Khayelitsha to reach this victory over heartless criminals, the community members are urged to continue to mobilise themselves into legitimate structures to continue making a difference on the crime front,” he said.

Bongiwe’s tearful mother, Nomlozi Ninini has been in court ever since the case into the murder of her 20-year-old daughter started.

She said although she was “happy but that would not bring back my daughter”.

She described her late daughter as a friendly, joyful, young woman. Judge Parker said Bongiwe Ninini was relentlessly and savagely killed in a planned attack, while unarmed, vulnerable and hopelessly outnumbered. SANCO’s Jabu Mahlangu said the sentence reassures our communities.

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