Nun's killers will soon know fate

2015-05-14 08:27
Mondli Shozi and Sibongiseni Phungula admitted in the Pietermaritzburg high court yesterday that they raped and murdered Ixopo nun Sister Gertrud Tiefenbacher. (Jonathan Burton, The Witness)

Mondli Shozi and Sibongiseni Phungula admitted in the Pietermaritzburg high court yesterday that they raped and murdered Ixopo nun Sister Gertrud Tiefenbacher. (Jonathan Burton, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - Two men convicted of the rape, robbery and murder of an elderly nun at an Ixopo convent will hear their fate on Thursday.

Sbongiseni Phungula, 25, and Mondli Michael Shozi, 26, were found guilty on three charges for their involvement in the slaying of Roman Catholic nun Gertrud Tiefenbacher, and are expected to appear in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg on Thursday for sentencing.

The two were arrested in a police raid in the wake of Tiefenbacher’s slaying at the Sacred Heart Convent in Ixopo on April 19, appeared in the court on Wednesday.

Phungula and Shozi pleaded guilty to the charges of rape and murder, but had attempted to plead to a lesser charge of theft as opposed to robbery with aggravating circumstances.

In delivering her judgment, Judge Nompumelelo Radebe ruled that their actions justified the original charge, and found both guilty on all three counts.

She adjourned proceedings to allow the State and defence advocates to prepare for sentencing proceedings set down.

The court heard on Wednesday that the 87-year-old missionary nun was found with a towel wrapped around her neck, over which was a shoe lace that had been pulled tight, causing severe bruising.

Sister Tiefenbacher, who was Austrian-born, was found dead on the floor next to her bed in her room at the convent.

Her hands were bound together with the cord of her electric typewriter and a wet towel, believed to have been used to suffocate her, was over her face.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime

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