Taxi driver killer gets stiff term

2010-02-16 00:00

A 20-YEAR-OLD who strangled a taxi driver with wire while a co-perpetrator grabbed his neck and hit him a “few times” on the head with a firearm in order that they could rob him of his minibus, was jailed effectively for 20 years by Acting Judge Khosi Hadebe yesterday.

The court heard that after the murder the killers stopped the taxi at the roadside. Two of the attackers removed the body from the taxi, poured petrol over it and set it alight.

The court viewed “gruesome” photographs of the victim’s remains.

Mlungisi Hlatshwayo of Osizweni near Newcastle pleaded guilty to murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances of Thembinkosi Joseph Nhlapo (34) in the Osizweni area last year.

According to his statement, he and “two older friends” were offered R19 000 for a Toyota taxi by a man named Mandlandoda Sithole. But when they later offered him Nhlapo’s taxi he said he required only “certain parts”, which he then removed.

Hlatshwayo said he never received any financial reward for his participation in the murder and robbery.

The judge said the court had a duty to the community to impose “stiff” sentences for these types of offences.

She ordered that Hlatshwayo must serve 15 years in prison before being considered for parole.


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