Former Tala Valley chef’s attackers get 16 years in jail

2012-09-03 00:00

TWO MEN who beat, kicked and tried to strangle former Tala Valley chef Trevor du Bois and robbed him of his bakkie were jailed for an effective 16 years by acting high court judge Kobus Booyens on Friday.

The men, Skhumbuzo Zumani (22) and Nkanyiso Shezi (23), were convicted of attempted murder and aggravated assault on Thursday.

Du Bois was attacked during the night of September 11 last year after his bakkie broke down. He was dragged into a sugar cane field, beaten, kicked and choked, causing him to be hospitalised for five days.

The men drove away in Du Bois’s bakkie, but crashed it later. Police found his passport, identity document and cellphone on Zumani.

Du Bois was lying injured at the roadside when a passing ambulance picked him up and took him to hospital.

Booyens found that the men were reckless as to the consequences of their actions, but he found circumstances which justified a lesser sentence than the prescribed 15 years for attempted murder.

He said that the assault was not pre-planned and that the crimes were oppportunistic. The men had been drinking, and courts had for a long time considered that drinking alcohol was a mitigating factor, and they were considered first offenders.

He imposed 12 years’ imprisonment on each of the men for the attempted murder and eight years each for aggravated robbery. Four years of the latter sentence would run concurrently with the 12 years for attempted murder, giving them effective 16-year sentences.

Booyens ordered that they serve two-thirds of their terms before being considered for parole.

Du Bois, who is working in Miami, did not come to SA to testify and the men were convicted on the basis of circumstantial evidence. Photographs presented as evidence showed that he was seriously injured in the incident.

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