Joggers’ killer jailed

2016-04-06 11:00
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 man responsible for killing two joggers in Dalton in February has pleaded guilty and was yesterday sentenced to 10 years.

He was charged for driving under the influence of alcohol, two culpable homicide charges for killing joggers Sithabile Mkhasibe and Xolani Nxele, and for defeating the ends of justice by dumping Mkhasibe’s body in a sugarcane field. The incident occurred on February 26.

It emerged yesterday that Mcabango Hlongwa had two passengers — Senzokuhle Sithole and Mnqobi Nzama — in the car with him when he drove into the joggers, and that he does not have a driver’s licence.

The charge for driving without a licence could not be added as it was supposed to have been done at the beginning of the case.

Hlongwa appeared in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court yesterday where magistrate Mishy Singh handed down the sentence.

In Hlongwa’s statement, read by his lawyer Sicelo Nyandu, he said he was “truly remorseful” for his actions and had “no defence” for the acts he committed. He also said that he raised money to compensate the grieving families.

The statement went into the details of the incident. Hlongwa said he had two quarts of Castle Milk Stout, which impaired his driving ability. He was on his way to pick up a friend who was allegedly stranded in Dalton.

He said he lost control of the vehicle while negotiating a bend, and knocked into the joggers.

“In realising that I caused an accident I became very shocked and continued with my driving.

“This is not what a reasonable man would have done and I admit my actions were negligent,” he said in his statement.

He then admitted to dumping Mkhasibe’s body in a sugarcane field after he “found her stuck to the bonnet”.

Mkhasibe’s body was found by police four days after the incident. According to the post-mortem results, the body was found decomposed with maggots on her face. There were extensive abrasions and drag abrasions to her limbs and extensive bruising on her scalp.

It was also revealed that Hlongwa had numerous previous convictions dating from 1999 to 2013, including for the possession of stolen goods, the possession of firearms and ammunition and he paid six admission of guilt fines for possession of “undesirable dependence substances”.

Nyandu pleaded with the court that Hlongwa’s previous convictions had no bearing on this case but Singh disagreed.

Prosecutor Ricky van Wyk said Hlongwa only pleaded guilty because of the state’s “strong” evidence against him. He said the court should take into account the number of campaigns run throughout the province on road safety and driving under the influence of alcohol.

“The court should not view the taking of human lives lightly and the two joggers both were professional adults who supported their families. They were a couple who were planning on getting married and his [Hlongwa’s] actions devastated the families,” said Van Wyk.

He added that the court should also imagine what the family went through in the time before Mkhasibe’s body was found.

Magistrate Singh handed down the sentence of one year for driving under the influence and three years for defeating the ends of justice, which would run concurrently with the five years’ imprisonment for the death of each jogger. In effect, Hlongwa will serve 10 years’ imprisonment.

“You were bold to drive with no driver’s licence, under the influence of alcohol and with two passengers in the vehicle. You robbed the grieving families of support and judging by the post-mortem results, they both died a terrible death,” said Singh.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  murder  |  court  |  jogger

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