Convicted killer sentenced to community service

2014-09-30 20:04


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Tonga - An Mpumalanga first-year mechanical engineering student found guilty of stabbing his friend to death during a tavern brawl has been handed an effective three-year community service sentence.

Collen Sabelo Shongwe, 25, of Mdladla village near Malalane, was sentenced in the Tonga Regional Court on Tuesday, a Sapa correspondent reported.

Shongwe was arrested on 3 November 2013, and had pleaded guilty to culpable homicide before his sentencing.

He previously admitted to stabbing and killing his friend Thami Khoza during a tavern fight.

"His Legal Aid attorney, Xolani Mahlalela, read his sworn affidavit in court, stating that Khoza was stabbed with a broken beer bottle, killing him on the scene.

He said Khoza accused Mahlalela of stealing his money at the tavern and started punching him in the face, forcing Mahlalela to walk out of the tavern.

"My client told me that Khoza then followed him outside the tavern where a fight ensued. Shongwe grabbed a broken beer bottle, stabbed him once and he fell on the ground and died," he said.

Shongwe then rushed home to inform his aunt about the incident.

The aunt called the police.

In accordance with the plea, Magistrate Edgar Moletsane found Shongwe guilty.

On Tuesday, Mahlalela pleaded with the court to hand his client a light sentence.

He said Shongwe and Khoza's families had forgiven each other.

Moletsane handed Shongwe an eight-year jail sentence suspended to five years on condition that he does community service for three years.

"You will voluntarily give services at your local clinic by working 10 hours per month," said Moletsane.

Shongwe is out on R1 000 bail.

Read more on:    mbombela  |  crime

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