Life for having her mom-in-law murdered

2014-06-26 00:00

A WOMAN who arranged to have her mother-in-law murdered, as well as the man who carried out the assassination, were both jailed for life ­yesterday.

Lilian Pearce (41) and Mvikelwa Khanyile (27), both of the Mtubatuba area, were sentenced in Pietermaritzburg yesterday by High Court Judge Nompumelelo Radebe after being convicted on a previous occasion.

The court found that Khanyile had shot and killed Slindile Pearce (64), in exchange for a promise by Lilian Pearce that he would be paid R15 000.

According to the charge sheet the relationship between the victim and Pearce — her daughter-in-law — soured some time before the murder on April 11, 2011.

Pearce allegedly believed that her mother-in-law was sowing division between her and her husband and decided she should be killed.

She hired Khanyile to execute her plan.

On the day of the incident he and another man, armed with a firearm, went to the victim’s home, lured her to a window and shot her. She died of gunshot wounds to her chest.

Sentencing Pearce yesterday, the judge said it was aggravating that the victim was her own mother-in-law, a member of her family.

She said Slindile Pearce had been a “most vulnerable” victim.

She was 64 and a grandmother of several grandchildren when she was killed. “The emotional scars the family of the deceased have been left with cannot be described in simple words,” said the judge.

Radebe added that although ­Khanyile was relatively young she could not see any prospect for his rehabilitation.

She said he had been unemployed at the time of the murder and that he was “desperate” for money because he could not get a job.

However, the judge said while unemployment was high it did not mean people could go around killing others for money.

She said Khanyile had a “dangerous” character, and he was motivated to commit the murder by greed alone.

“He did not show any remorse,” the judge added. “He just agreed with the plan of accused one [Pearce] to eliminate a person who was unknown to him … All that was on his mind was the R15 000 he was going to get. Perhaps when he grows older he will realise that R15 000 is nothing.”

She said despite overwhelming evidence against him, Khanyile had not attempted to explain why he committed the heinous crime.

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