Limpopo – A man who murdered his aunt because he suspected that she bewitched his father was sentenced to life imprisonment in the High Court in Thohoyandou on Thursday, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said.
In a statement issued on Friday, Limpopo NPA spokesperson Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi said Isando Rivimbi, 32, was convicted of murder and defeating the ends of justice, for which an additional three years was added to his sentence.
The sentences will run concurrently.
The court heard that on July 9, 2016, at Hlanganani in Rotterdam village, Rivimbi and his friend met and hatched a plan to kill his 82-year-old aunt because he suspected that he had caused his father's illness through witchcraft and sorcery.
Malabi-Dzhangi said the two men proceeded to the elderly woman's homestead and asked her to accompany them to visit Rivimbi's ailing father.
"Upon arrival, she was led into a room where the accused grabbed her and held her hands while his friend [cut] her throat with a knife. Her lifeless body was loaded onto a wheelbarrow and dumped at the local cemetery," said Malabi-Dzhangi.
The woman's body was discovered the following morning and a neighbour told community members that she saw the two men leave the homestead with her.
While Rivimbi was apprehended and handed over to the police by residents, his friend was not so lucky.
Malabi-Dzhangi said community members hunted him down and killed him.
State prosecutor Advocate Wendy Nekhavhambe argued that the crime was a carefully planned act as the accused had travelled from Gauteng to Hlanganani.
"He had sufficient time to reflect and ponder his actions," said Nekhavhambe.
She also said Rivimbi took his time to accomplish the heinous crime.
"The deceased was a defenceless, elderly woman in her 80s who deserved special protection from the accused. The accused was callous and merciless upon his own relative."
Malabi-Dzhangi said the NPA welcomed the sentence.