Taxi driver and owner given two life terms

2012-04-13 00:00

A TAXI owner and his driver from Mtubatuba have been sentenced to two life terms by the Pietermaritzburg high court for killing two taxi owners in revenge, after the taxi owner’s house was allegedly damaged by members of another taxi association from Johannesburg.

Taxi owner Phumendlini Matende Nsibande (48) and his driver Siyabonga Mthokozeni Dlamini (27) from Mtubatuba were sentenced for two counts of murder — taxi owners Msawakhe Ntshangase and Thokozani Mantengu; two of attempted murder on Mandlakayise Mkhize and Samson Gumede; two of kidnapping Agrippa Ntombela and Busi Mngomezulu and two counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances of Busi Mngomezulu and Agrippa Ntombela.

They committed these offences between October 10 and 29, 2010, to avenge alleged damages made to Nsibande’s house by taxi association members. They started by robbing Ntombela of his kombi and Mngomezulu of her Nissan Sentra so they could use the vehicles to commit these offences.

High court judge Nomphumelelo Radebe, handing down sentence, noted their attack happened in front of Ntombela’s son Mzamo. Mzamo is still traumatised, said his mother in court. Both widows were called yesterday to testify in aggravation of sentence. Phindile Ntshangase told the court she surrendered two cars and was planning to surrender their taxi as she could no longer pay for it with her teaching salary while she supports 11 family members. Nonhlanhla Mantengu also testified that life is very difficult for her and 13 children as she battles to get her late husbands intestate estate from the bank.

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