Midlands pair jailed for life for killing taxi driver

2011-05-05 00:00

TWO men from the midlands who murdered a taxi driver on the day before he was to get married were jailed for life by acting judge Nalini Govender in the high court in Pietermaritzburg yesterday.

The state alleged that because their own taxi had crashed they resolved to replace it by hijacking another.

They armed themselves with guns and pretended to be passengers in Khayalakhe Maqulane’s taxi.

At a certain spot they told Maqulane to stop and ejected the passengers. They drove Maqulane to a lonely side road, shot him dead and drove off in his taxi.

The killers are Samkelo Cebekhulu (26), and Skhumbuso Ngubane (34). The state alleged that they murdered Maqulane so that he could not identify them. The crimes were committed in April 2010 and some time later the stolen taxi was recognised by police.

The accused were also convicted of the attempted murders of three policemen by shooting at them.

Govender said the heist was brazen and commited in front of other passengers during daylight.

She found that the aggravating circumstances overrode the mitigating factors.

Ngubane has three previous convictions, including unlawful possession of a firearm, and Cebekhulu had one. They were also sentenced to 15 years’ in jail for the attempted murder of the policemen and five years for kidnapping.

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