Jogger’s family appalled by sentence

2016-04-06 23:00
Mcabango Hlongwa appeared in the Hew Hanover Magistrate’s Court.

Mcabango Hlongwa appeared in the Hew Hanover Magistrate’s Court. (Ian Carbutt, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - The family of the jogger who was killed when she and her boyfriend were hit by a drunk driver in February are outraged at the killer’s 10-year sentence.

Sithabile Mkhasibe and her boyfriend, Xolani Nxele, were jogging along the main road in Dalton when Mcabango Hlongwa (37), who had been drinking, lost control of his vehicle and hit the couple.

Hlongwa continued driving with Nxele’s body on the bonnet and Mkhasibe up against the windshield.

Nxele slid off the bonnet and was later found dead at the roadside.

Hlongwa continued to drive with Mkhasibe on the car windscreen and then dumped her body in a sugarcane field in Dalton.

Her body was found four days after the incident occurred, on a remote road in grasslands in Dalton.

On Tuesday, Hlongwa, who was discovered to be an unlicensed driver, was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment for the deaths of the couple as well as drinking and driving.

Mkhasibe’s brother, Andile Mlotshwa, said the family felt the sentence could have been much tougher, considering that Hlongwa had hidden his sister’s body.

“If it was not for the two young boys who were with Hlongwa in the car when the incident took place, who gave a description of the area where my sister’s body was dumped, we would not have found her.

“Hlongwa was not willing to co-operate. Maybe animals would have got to her body and we would still be looking for her,” he said.

“There is a problem with our justice system. Very soon he will be out gallivanting while the family will still be grieving.”

He said his sister was always willing to help the family and the “go-to person” in an emergency.

“She had a bright future and her whole life ahead of her,” he said.

Mlotshwa said Hlongwa should have faced murder charges instead of culpable homicide.

South Africans Against Drunk Driving founder Caro Smit also felt the 10-year sentence was “extremely lenient”.

“The South African Road Traffic Act allows a nine-year sentence per death or serious injury for drunk driving, and a R180 000 fine,” she said.

“Hlongwa killed two people, so he could have been sentenced to 18 years’ for the drunk driving charge alone.”

Smit said SADD was “horrified” at the sentence and felt the case had not been thoroughly investigated.

“The sentence shows how justice has failed the victims and their family, and shows a huge amount of disrespect for them,” she said.

Read more on:    pietermartizburg  |  court  |  jogger  |  murder  |  sentence

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