Joggers killer gets 10 years

2016-04-13 06:00

FAMILY members of the two joggers killed by a drunken driver expressed their deep disappointment at the effective 10-year sentence handed down to Mcabango Hlongwa in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate's Court last week.

Sithabile Mkhasibe (27) and her boyfriend, 27-year-old Xolani Nxele were jogging in Dalton on the evening of 26 February when they were hit by Hlongwa who continued driving with the bodies on the bonnet. Nxele's body slipped off, but Mkhasibe's body was wedged against the windscreen and the accused eventually dumped it in a sugar-cane field.

He said could not recall where the body was and four days passed before her body was found.

Hlongwa, who pleaded guilty, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol for which he received one year's sentence, defeating the ends of justice, three years and two counts of culpable homicide, for which he got five years each. The magistrate ordered the sentences to run concurrently.

The charge for driving without a licence could not be added as it had not been thoroughly investigated and the magistrate said it should have been at the start of the case.

Magistrate Mishy Singh said that driving under the influence of liquor with two passengers was unacceptable, he had robbed a young couple in their prime, of their future together, robbed the families of support and judging from the postmortem reports, the magistrate said "they both had died a terrible death".

Hlongwa pleaded guilty to all counts. In his plea he said that on 26 February, with two friends, he been on his way to fetch a friend in Dalton and he had drunk two quarts of beer. On a bend in the main road he lost control of the vehicle and had driven into the couple and was "shocked".

He accepted he should have stopped and reported the accident to the police, but had continued driving and concealed the one body in a sugar-cane field.

Hlongwa admitted that his actions were not those of a reasonable man and had no defence for his actions.

After sentence had been passed Hlongwa said he had come up with money to pay the families as compensation. He wanted to pay a fine and be granted bail.

Magistrate Singh said he would have to apply for leave to appeal, and if that was granted, could then apply for bail.

A spokesman for South Africans against Drunk Driving said it was felt that the 10-year sentence was "extremely lenient" and that the justice system had failed the victims and their families.

A spokesman for South Africans against Drunk Driving said it was felt that the 10-year sentence was ‘extremely lenient’ and that the justice
system had failed the victims and their families

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