Widow’s killer gets life plus 15 years

2013-05-20 00:00

THE killer of Pietermaritzburg widow Venotha Ince (51) was sentenced to life plus 15 years in prison on Friday. This was despite his last-minute change of heart and apology to the high court in Pietermaritzburg and to Ince’s family for his actions.

Acting Judge Piet Bezuidenhout said the fact that Sikhumbuzo Mkhize (33) admitted his guilt at such a late stage appeared to indicate regret rather than remorse.

He was unable to find that the cumulative effect of mitigating factors presented by Mkhize’s attorney, Ishi Khan, were compelling and substantial enough to warrant less than the prescribed minimum sentences.

These were that Mkhize was a first offender, was employed as a carpenter for 11 years and proved to be a “trustworthy” employee, and that he had ultimately “come clean” over his crimes and showed he is capable of rehabilitation.

The court was also told he is the father of five children.

Bezuidenhout said Ince’s murder and robbery was a” brutal and callous attack on a defenceless lady”, and it was premeditated.

She was stabbed 13 times.

The assailants knew that she lived alone and had gone to her home in Egret Road that day on the pretext that they were coming to work.

She had opened the gate for them because she knew them since they had done work there before. They breached the trust she had in them by attacking her.

Mkhize and a companion identified as Themba held her legs, while a third man, Rasta, stabbed her.

“This all happened in her home, a place where people want to feel safe,” the Judge said.

He said Mkhize had been working as a carpenter for 11 years and was not destitute. He had acted out of greed, hoping for a share in the spoils of the robbery.

Bezuidenhout said that considering all these factors, he did not believe the prescribed sentences of life imprisonment for the murder and 15 years’ imprisonment for robbery were disproportionate to the crimes. He ordered that the sentences run concurrently.

Ince’s sister, Radha Pillay, who was supported at court by her husband, Jay, said the family finally had closure; justice had been done and they knew exactly how her sister died. She thanked the investigating officer, Warrant Officer Ashok Baldowu, his team, and state advocate Humphrey Ngcobo for ensuring that justice was served.

Mountain Rise station commander Brigadier Francis Bantham said she was “extremely proud” of her team members for the work they had done in the case.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.