Life sentences for KZN artist's killers

2015-07-03 13:21
Siyabonga Khoza, one of Clinton De Menezes's killers. (Jeff Wicks, News24)

Siyabonga Khoza, one of Clinton De Menezes's killers. (Jeff Wicks, News24)

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Durban - The convicted killers of renowned artist Clinton De Menezes were handed life sentences plus an additional 53 years imprisonment in the High Court in Durban on Friday, for a crime spree that stretches over weeks.

Judge Esther Steyn, in delivering the sentences, said that Siyabonga Khoza, Lungani Ngidi and Bongani Makhathini did not prove substantial and compelling circumstances to deviate from the minimum prescribed sentence for each of the counts they faced.

In March, they were found guilty on charges of murder, housebreaking, robbery with aggravating circumstances and one count of attempted murder.

A fourth man, Fitso Alimasi, was convicted for his role in receiving stolen goods from a spate of robberies the three were responsible for in Westville and sentenced to six years imprisonment.

The four sat with their heads bowed in the dock while Steyn described the evidence that was placed before the court.

Khoza, who had on Thursday giggled while his victims testified in aggravation of their sentence, was aloof on Friday.

He stared blankly ahead, and pursed his lips while cutting a relaxed figure.


Speaking of the murder of De Menezes, Steyn issued a scathing remonstration for the four.

“The deceased [De Menezes] was a talented and promising artist with a young family that loved him dearly. His sister explained in court how his daughter Eva regarded him as her world. When you killed him, you did not only rob them of their possessions, you robbed a wife and little girl of the most precious thing they had, a husband and father,” she said.

“What is evident is that your conduct has displaced the De Menezes family as neither his wife nor daughter wants to return to South Africa.

"In all of the robberies, the victims were taken by surprise and all of the victims were at their own homes, places that should be regarded as safe sanctuaries. There was no need for you to have acted in the way you did, except you were greedy,” Steyn said.

“You have been convicted of very serious crimes. When the modus operandi is analysed, it is clear that you planned these crimes with complete disregard for people’s safety. Each time the victims were left vulnerable and in instances when violence was not required to obtain the property of the victim, you still used the firearm in your possession.”

People gasped loudly in the public gallery when life sentences were handed down.

Read more on:    durban  |  crime

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