Couple's 'dastardly' killer gets life

2012-08-15 10:48
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Durban - A young gardener who murdered an elderly Port Edward couple in their home over R150 he claimed he was owed has been sentenced to life imprisonment.

The high court sitting in Ramsgate on Tuesday also slapped a 15-year sentence on 20-year-old Sgidi Xolani Sonjica for robbery.

The terms will run concurrently.

Dressed in beach shorts and a collared T-shirt, Sonjica kept his head down throughout the morning’s proceedings, which ended after Judge King Ndlovu refused him leave to appeal against his sentence.

Personal circumstances

The judge told him the stabbing Eric, 70, and Elizabeth, 75, Robins to death in their home on June 17 was a crime “of such an abhorrent nature and degree that your personal circumstances must yield”.

The circumstances Ndlovu referred to were that Sonjica had lost his mother, the only parent who took responsibility for his upbringing, when he was 9; his schooling had ended after Grade 2; and his carer had died when he was 14, after which he eked out a living selling fruit and doing odd jobs.

The victims were killed in their home on June 17. Their bodies were discovered by their domestic worker, Flora Nkwanyana.

Police linked Sonjica to the murders after investigating the whereabouts of the property taken from the victims’ home.

Before being incarcerated, he worked on a South Coast construction site, earned R700 a fortnight and supported his sister and her baby.

The judge told Sonjica that in carrying out his “dastardly act”, he had done things his way, no matter what the cost.

“Killing the man did not suffice. You had to kill his wife, too, when she tried to rescue him. She posed no physical threat to you. You wanted to silence her.”

Remorse

Ndlovu also reprimanded Sonjica for having left his victims dead, or to die, “and doing nothing to alert anyone”. He told Sonjica the R200 and other valuables he had stolen from them, including a cellphone, had nothing to do with the R150 he claimed to be owed. “You did not have to kill them in order to rob them,” he added.

Sonjica had shown remorse only after being caught.

Ndlovu noted that the killing of vulnerable, elderly people was prevalent in South Africa.

“The legitimate expectation of society is that such crimes must be severely punished.”

Last week, Sonjica pleaded guilty to two counts of murder and one of robbery with aggravating circumstances.



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