Paraplegic shot by his fellow hitman is jailed for 20 years

2010-04-09 00:00

A MAN who became a paraplegic when he was shot by a co-perpetrator just days after they had carried out an assassination for a fee was jailed for 20 years yesterday after pleading guilty to the murder.

Siphamandla Shange (38), who was seated in a wheelchair in court, admitted in a statement he was hired for R10 000 by a woman, Ma Dlamini Magwaza, to murder Themba Mdluli at Mandawe, Eshowe.

The reason she gave for having Mdluli killed was that he had accused her of practising witchcraft, said Shange.

Shange and three friends, Dumisani Thwala, Bongani Hlabisa and Mageba Zulu, executed the “hit” on June 21, 2009. Mdluli died of two gunshots to the head.

According to the state’s indictment, Magwaza was the former principal of Mandawe Primary School.

She believed that Mdluli, who was the district mayor, and another man were responsible for her being demoted at the beginning of 2009.

Judge Anton van Zyl yesterday found that there were compelling and substantial circumstances that reduced the moral blameworthiness of Shange in respect of his participation in Mdluli’s murder.

However, the judge said, human life is sacred and a message has to be sent to other potential offen­ders that the courts will not take this type of offence lightly.

Shange’s lawyer, Kelvin Singh, said that a few days after the assassination Shange was shot five times by his co-perpetrator, Mageba Zulu.

Shange is now permanently paralysed from the waist down, Singh added.

State advocate Nqobile Maphelala confirmed that if Shange had not confessed his involvement in the murder to police, the crime may not have been solved as quickly, or at all.

She said Shange’s information had led to the arrest of one other suspect, while the others have been identified.

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