30 years in prison for former whoonga dealer

2017-03-06 11:14
Whoonga cigarettes confiscated by police during a raid held in the city recently.

Whoonga cigarettes confiscated by police during a raid held in the city recently. (Supplied)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

A former whoonga dealer who admitted involvement in the murder of six “opposition” drug dealers in January this year was jailed effectively for 30 years on Friday.

A seventh victim survived the massacre, which took place in Georgedale near Camperdown on January 20.

Sentencing Sisanda “Chocolate” Mvinjana (22) on Friday, Judge Piet Bezuidenhout said the murders were each deserving of life sentences.

However, he said the other perpetrators of the murders must also be punished and state advocate Mbongeni Mthembu had said that Mvinjana’s assistance was required to bring them to book.

He therefore agreed with defence lawyer Lauren Marais that the fact that Mvinjana pleaded guilty, showed remorse and had indicated his willingness to help police and the prosecution and to testify against the other killers justified sentences of less than life imprisonment.

Judge Bezuidenhout said, however, the crimes were “heinous”.

“The wave of senseless killings in this country because people disagree, or in the course of robberies, must stop. It must be brought home to such people that they will be dealt with harshly by the courts,” he said.

He sentenced Mvinjana to 30 years’ imprisonment for each of the six murders and to 10 years’ imprisonment for attempted murder but ordered the sentences to run concurrently.

The murder victims included four men — Sibonakaliso Khubeka (26), Sphamandla Mavundla (29), Siphelele Denge (36) and Mcebisi Gondo (28); and two women — Hlengiwe Dubazane (48) and Nonhlanhla Mthalane (22).

The man who survived the attack was Bongani Ntuli.

In his guilty plea, Mvinjana said before the incident he had received information about people from a certain house in the area who were selling whoonga.

“I was a former drug dealer in the area and when I stopped selling, my friend Thabani took over. I became very angry because this territory now belonged to him. In other words he was the only person who was entitled to sell that particular drug in this area,” said Mvinjana.

He said on the day of the massacre, Thabani and two other men arrived at his home to vent their frustration and they had all decided to “put an end to this”. After arming themselves with guns they went to the victims’ home.

“I knocked at the door and when somebody opened we all pushed ourselves inside. I immediately grabbed the person closest to me and noticed that there were several other people in this room and they were all smoking the drug whoonga. This angered me so I pointed my firearm at him and instructed these people to stop selling whoonga in this area.

“Whilst doing so I heard a gunshot go off. At that stage I shot this person three times causing him to fall to the floor. My companions then shot the rest of the people in that room. A total of seven of them were shot by us. We then fled the scene,” he said.

Mvinjana said when police arrested him on February 17 he immediately admitted his guilt.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Partner Content
How data is changing investments

Technological disruption is rife in many spheres of business and given the quantity of data available, it’s no surprise that the way in which asset managers work is also changing fast.

Behind the sparkle

Alluring, beautiful and timeless - diamonds are some of the most sought after gems in the world and are a true testament of everlasting brilliance. Let us take you behind the sparkle to show you the history behind this coveted jewel.


How to get rid of fleas

Before you call in the pricey exterminators, try this DIY approach that promises to get your flea problem under control.



12 Cool cat facts
Chocolate can be fatal for dogs
Spider-man star's adorable relationship with his dog
Do you know what you are feeding your dog?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.