DNA link puts killer in jail for life

2010-03-05 00:00

A CIGARETTE butt thrown down at the body of a murdered woman and the murder weapon still in the belt of the killer arrested in a tavern were clues that ensured the conviction of, and life sentence for, a Cato Ridge killer yesterday.

Judge Gregory Kruger said in the high court in Pietermaritzburg that Muzikanyise Luthuli (28) could offer no explanation why the cigarette butt, which had on it some of his DNA, was found near the body of Nikwepo Mchunu (50).

The bullets that killed Mchunu were fired by the 9mm pistol that Luthuli had in his belt when arrested.

Luthuli fired eight shots, hitting her seven times. The pistol’s magazine can hold eight cartridges, which showed that he emptied the gun at her.

Gunpowder tattoos on her face showed that he shot her from close.

A witness testified that he drove Luthuli to a spot near the victim’s home at the time of the shooting.

The serial numbers of the gun he used had been erased, which made it a more serious offence. He has a previous conviction of unlawful possession of a firearm for which he was sentenced to 18 months’ jail, half suspended.

State advocate Candy Kander said it was a brutal and ruthless attack on a defenceless woman in the presence of her family, including young children. Two young children have been put in the care of a children’s home.

Luthuli showed no remorse in the face of overwhelming evidence against him. This lack of contrition shows that he deserves imprisonment for life, Kander said.

The state alleged that Luthuli killed Mchunu because she would not withdraw a charge that a relative of Luthuli had raped her daughter.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.