Killer mother sentenced

2016-03-21 10:45

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Pietermaritzburg - Killer mom Thandi Truelove Ndlovu (43) of Hammarsdale was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment on Friday for arranging the murder of her daughter, Nompumelelo Mthembu (25).

Judge Rishi Seegobin ordered, however, that five years of the sentence be suspended conditionally for five years.

The judge sentenced the youngest of the two assassins before court, Sanele Gumede (who was 20 years old at the time), to the same sentence as Ndlovu.

However, he imposed an effective sentence of 25 years’ imprisonment on Gumede’s older brother, Sthabiso Gumede (31), who Seego­bin found had influenced his younger sibling and “dragged him into the sorry mess”.

Sthabiso Gumede was the only one of the trio who also pleaded guilty to the murder of Mthembu’s six-year-old daughter, Bandile Kitty Mthembu, who was killed to prevent her from identifying her mother’s assassins.

Ndlovu and Sanele Gumede both distanced themselves from the child’s murder as they said it had not been part of the plan.

Mthembu and the little girl were set upon by the Gumede brothers and other assailants hired by Ndlovu while they were sleeping together in their bedroom on the night of June 12, 2014.

Mother and child were strangled until they lost consciousness and then dragged to a secluded bushy area where their throats were “slit like animals”, the judge said.

The judge said although he found that there were circumstances that justified sentences lower than the prescribed minimum sentence of life imprisonment, each of the three culprits deserved to go to prison for a long time.

He took into account in Ndlovu’s favour that Mthembu herself had behaved in an “abusive and disgraceful” manner towards her mother which resulted in her wanting her dead.

He also took into account that Ndlovu will have to live for the rest of her life with the knowledge that she was instrumental in having her own daughter killed and, in the process, also her granddaughter.

Judge Seegobin said Ndlovu had committed the worst sin any parent could commit by killing her child.

“Parents are required by divine grace to give the gift of life and to preserve it at all costs. Not to take it away at will … she should be ashamed,” he said of Ndlovu.

Ndlovu admitted she paid R7 000 to have the assassins murder her daughter who had only moved in with her four months earlier. She said Mthembu frequently became intoxicated and then ill-treated her and also threatened her life and that of her half-sister.

Judge Seegobin said in spite of this, Ndlovu had alternatives other than killing her such as asking her to leave her house.

He said the case illustrated once again “just how cheap” life had become in this country.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  murder  |  court

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