Glebelands 'hitman' sentenced to life in jail

2018-04-03 19:28
Glebelands Hostel. (Gallo Images)

Glebelands Hostel. (Gallo Images)

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A "hitman" has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the "contract-style killing" of a 52-year-old woman at the notorious Glebelands Hostel.

The Durban Regional Court sentenced 29-year-old Khayelihle "Mroza" Mbuthuma on Tuesday for the murder of Sibongile Princess Mtshali, who was shot dead on July 26, last year.

Mtshali had been watching television in her room, along with three other women, at about 20:30 when she was shot dead.

The three other women, who include her grandchild, were not hurt during the shooting. 

A witness testified that two men knocked at Mtshali's door and asked to buy cooldrink.

'I pushed him' 

When the witness opened the door, his accomplice entered and approached Mtshali.

"As he started shooting her, I pushed him with an intention of fleeing from the room. Mbuthuma, who was also armed with a firearm, stood at the doorway. I saw him as I got out of the room. Our foreheads touched as I ran out, but he didn't harm me," the witness testified.

Mtshali was shot in her head and chest.

Mbuthuma's Legal Aid SA lawyer had submitted during his argument in mitigation of the sentence, that his client was a first offender, still youthful and could be rehabilitated. She said he has been taking care of his two children aged nine and three.

READ: Where politicians ‘shop’ for hitmen

Mbuthuma also testified in his defence and claimed that he was in his room at Block 52 when the shooting occurred.

He claimed that watched television with his girlfriend around 20:30 and his girlfriend confirmed his claim in court.

But Magistrate Bongiwe Mbulawa said: "The accused personal circumstances are insignificant when looking into the seriousness of the crime they committed. They are far outweighed by the aggravating circumstances in the matter."

Mbulawa added that Mbuthuma did not show any remorse for the "senseless and cold-blooded killing of a defenceless woman".

'Contract-style killing'

The magistrate described the murder as a "contract-style killing".

"What is clear is that the accused and his cohort Ntobeko, went there to kill the deceased. They clearly planned to ensure that she doesn't survive their plan," she said.

"The actions of the shooter on the day can be imputed on the accused as he was at the scene, armed and the State correctly pointed out that he was a back-up plan."

There was a large contingent of heavily armed policemen inside and outside court during the sentencing.

Mbuthuma is also one of the seven men accused of a string of murders at the hostel from August 2014 to March 2016.

Mbuthuma and his co-accused Detective Sergeant Bhekukwazi Louis Mdweshu, 37, Ncomekile Matlala Ntshangase‚ 34‚ Eugene Wonderboy Hlope‚ 45‚ Mbuyiselwa Mahliphiza Mkhize‚ 28‚ Vukani Mcobothi‚ 25‚ and Mondli Talente Mthethwa‚ 28‚ face 20 charges related to killings at the hostel.

The charges include murder, attempted murder, racketeering, conspiracy to commit murder, extortion and the unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.

More than 100 people have died as a result of the violence over the allocation of beds and rooms at the hostel.

During the Moerane Commission into political killings in KZN, the hostel was described as a "reservoir" of hitmen.

Read more on:    courts  |  glebelands hostel

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