Murder Spree: Brothers jailed for life

2011-10-05 00:00

TWO Kokstad brothers were sentenced yesterday to two life imprisonment terms and 15 years by the Pietermaritzburg high court for their murder and robbery spree in Bongweni, in the Shayamoya area.

Bongani Matomela (33) and Phumlile Matomela (20) were sentenced for the murder of Thabiso Mnyaiza (21) and a pupil, Princess Nomzingisi Nqebe, in July 2007. According to evidence, the siblings had planned to rob anyone they come across of their money and cellphones.

They armed themselves with knives on the evening of July 31 and started their crime spree by attacking Nqebe, who was in the company of other pupils returning from night school.

They approached her and assaulted her, demanding money and her cellphone.

They robbed her of her cellphone and stabbed her in the chest.

Nqebe died at the scene of the stab wound to her heart.

They then attacked Mnyaiza near the community hall as he was walking home, stabbing him in the chest and removing his cellphone. He was left to die at the side of the road.

On the same night they robbed Zamile Sibanyoni and Nokwakha Ngcezu of their cellphones and attempted to rob Nombathini Dlamini.

Defence counsel Winston Maquthu asked the court to consider that they were under the influence of alcohol when they committed these crimes.

But Judge Themba Sishi said Bongani Matomela testified in court that he was not so drunk that he did not know what he was doing.

Judge Sishi said it is the duty of the court to protect society.

“You did not behave like human beings when you went on this rampage of crime. It is clear that you have no respect for life and other people’s property.

“In the record it is clear that accused two [Phumlile] played a fundamental role in these offences,” said Sishi.

He sentenced them to life imprisonment for each murder count, 15 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances of four counts and six years for attempted robbery.

He ordered that they should run concurrently.

Bongani shed tears when he heard his sentence, but his brother showed no emotion.

The defence council applied for leave to appeal the conviction and sentence, but state counsel Mlungisi Magwanyana opposed, saying no other court will come to a different conclusion. Sishi refused the application.

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