Cemetery rapist faces long terms on 16 counts

2009-08-14 00:00

FORMER taxi owner Sibusiso Derrick Duma (24), who was convicted yesterday of a murderous crime spree spanning two months in 2007, could be given up to seven life sentences today.

He will also qualify for additional long terms of imprisonment totalling as much as 90 years.

Acting High Court Judge Kobus Booyens, who convicted Duma of 16 charges of robbery, murder, attempted murder, rape and kidnapping, remarked during the submissions by defence advocate Ranjiv Nirghin that if the death penalty was still in place he would have had a difficult task to persuade the court it was not applicable.

Another indication that the judge plans to “throw the book” at Duma, is his comment to state advocate Candy Kander that she cannot “ask for more than I am intending to impose”.

Duma was acquitted of only three of the 19 charges facing him — the rape of Pietermaritzburg woman Hlengiwe Shangase at Edendale on October 19, 2007, and the robbery and rape of Hillcrest teacher Happy Noxolo on October 25, 2007.

He was, however, found guilty of the murder of both these women by shooting them in the head.

The court found that although there was a suspicion that they had been raped, due to the manner in which their half-naked bodies were discovered, the state did not prove that they were raped.

Ballistic evidence linked Duma to the murder of Shangase, and DNA evidence proved that Noxolo’s blood was found in his taxi at the time of his arrest.

Booyens accepted circumstantial evidence pointing to Duma being one of the attackers who kidnapped, robbed and tried to murder a trio of young people, and later raped a young girl at Azalea Cemetery and attempted to run her over in the early hours of October 20, 2007.

The court found that Duma also ran over and killed another victim, security guard Mqeku Joseph Shangase, with his taxi before robbing him of his fire-arm at Henley Dam on September 9, 2007. This murder was found to have been unpremeditated.

The charges of which Duma was convicted are: murder and robbery of Mqeku Zondi on September 9; the murder of Hlengiwe Shangase at Edendale on October 19; the hijacking and murders of Masizane Mtshatsha and Thamsanqa Mbindwane on October 19; the kidnapping, robbery and attempted murders of Tshepo Mhlongo, Linda Jali and a 17-year-old schoolgirl on October 19; the rape and attempted murder of the girl at Azalea Cemetery the same night; and the murder of Happy Noxolo, who boarded his taxi on October 25, 2007.

Duma is one of two men already serving two life sentences each plus 35 years’ imprisonment for the murders of two Pietermaritzburg women, former Witness journalist Elaine Anderson and Patricia Kippen, in 2007.




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