Taxi drivers found guilty of murder

2013-06-21 21:42


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Pietermaritzburg - Two men accused of shooting dead two taxi drivers, attempting to kill a third, and stealing their cars to sell for parts were found guilty by the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermartizburg on Friday.

Samkelo Mathews Maphumulo, 32, and Siyabonga Praise God Zimu, 27, were found guilty of murdering Sphamandla Zondi and Zephrid Nxumalo, and attempting to murder Xolani Hlela in 2010.

Between May and August 2010, Maphumulo and Zimu, both metered taxi drivers, approached other drivers during the day to obtain their phone numbers.

Later, they would call the drivers posing as customers looking to hire a taxi, and when the drivers arrived, they held them up at gun point.

Two drivers, Zondi and Nxumalo, were taken to remote spots where they were shot dead and their taxis taken to Durban.

Hlela, however, wrestled with Zimu in the back seat of his taxi. As they wrestled, Hlela was shot in his stomach.

To prevent blood spilling into the taxi, he was dumped on the side of the road by Zimu.

Hlela was taken to hospital and survived the stomach wound but died of another cause.

Prosecutor Dheelan Naidoo requested Judge Thoba Poyo-Dlwati to sentence Zimu and Maphumulo each to an effective 55 years in prison for the two murders, attempted murder, and three robberies.

The court was expected to hand down sentences on Tuesday.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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