Funeral shooter jailed for 25 years

2013-04-02 22:32
(File: AP)

(File: AP)

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Johannesburg - A KwaZulu-Natal man was jailed for 25 years on Tuesday after being convicted of killing his aunt and wounding a bystander at her husband's graveside.

The KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg found Lungisi Mdluli, 38, guilty of shooting dead his aunt, Buyi Joyce Radebe, during her husband's funeral in Newcastle in February.

Mdluli pleaded guilty, stating there had been animosity between his aunt and himself about whether her husband, Ngobile Radebe, should be buried in Johannesburg or Newcastle.

Mdluli claimed Buyi Radebe had threatened to hire hitmen to kill him over the disagreement.

During the funeral at a cemetery in Newcastle, he saw her talking to two armed men he suspected could be the hitmen.

He walked up behind her and began shooting, killing her and wounding a bystander.

He told the court he then tried to commit suicide, but failed because other mourners beat him up.

KwaZulu-Natal deputy judge president Achmat Jappie convicted Mdluli of murder and attempted murder.

Jappie said although Mdluli was motivated by fear, he should be heavily punished as he killed a defenceless woman, and it was in the community's interest.

He said Mdluli had a tertiary qualification which showed he was capable of reformation.

He imposed 20 years' jail for the killing and 10 years for the attempted murder of Ngobile Radebe.

Five of the 10 years would run concurrently with the murder sentence.

Mdluli would be eligible for parole after serving 15 years in prison.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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