‘Dedicated criminal’ who shot hijacked taxi driver gets life plus 15 years

2013-03-28 00:00

A MAN who admitted that he shot a taxi driver in the head while robbing him of his metered taxi in the Newcastle area in 2004 was sentenced to life plus 15 years’ imprisonment yesterday.

Passing sentence on Thulani Mncube (31), Acting Judge Madlala Xolo described him as a “dedicated criminal” who had embarked on a life of crime from the age of 15 years.

He said the murder of taxi driver Gabangani Patrick Kunene on November 7, 2004, and robbery of his Mazda 323 had been a “particularly brutal and merciless” act.

According to information, the crime was solved only recently when Mncube was linked to the crime by his fingerprints.

He is already serving a life sentence in connection with a case involving rape, indecent assault and robbery.

In a statement to court prepared by his legal aid attorney, Kelvin Singh, Mncube said he and four others had observed Kunene driving his metered taxi on the night and decided to steal the vehicle.

“We signalled the deceased to stop, which he did. We all boarded his motor vehicle and travelled towards Madadeni …

“While travelling, Linda informed the deceased to stop the vehicle. The deceased questioned Linda regarding the reason to stop when we had not yet reached our destination.

“I informed the deceased that we wanted the motor vehicle for ourselves and that he must give it to us.”

Mncube said one of his

accomplices alerted them to the fact that Kunene was reaching for something under his seat.

“At that stage I immediately produced a firearm and shot the deceased twice in the head.”

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