Hitchhikers jailed for Salvation Army pastor murder

2018-03-20 19:54
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Durban – A Salvation Army pastor, who died after three hitchhikers he had picked up severely beat him, will have some posthumous justice as his killers were jailed in KwaZulu-Natal.

The Dundee Regional Court sentenced the hitchhikers last week to lengthy imprisonment terms for the murder of Pastor Hamilton Zulu, 47, and for robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Aphiwe Matiwane, 20, was sentenced to 20 years in prison, while the court imposed a 25-year-sentence for Vusumuzi Mbhele, 32, and a 20-year term for Nala Dlamini, 28.

Southern Africa Territory of The Salvation Army spokesperson Major Carin Holmes, welcomed the sentencing "and the administration of justice through the prison sentences, for those found guilty".

Holmes added that she hoped the men would reflect on their crimes.

"We trust that these young men who have been sentenced, will recognise the cruel and evil nature of these deeds and will use the time spent behind bars to rehabilitate themselves."

She said no prison sentence could bring Zulu "back to his family and church" and added that they would continue to mourn his death.

"As a church, we will continue to do whatever we can to bring about a reduction in the unacceptable levels of crime that assail our South African society."

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane said Zulu left his home in Ezakheni in March 2015 and travelled to Nqutu for "business purposes", when he offered the men a lift.

Zulu also picked up Jabulani Kweswa, who was also on his way to Nqutu. Both Zulu and Kweswa were attacked by the hitchhikers.

Kweswa was stabbed and left on the side of the road. He survived the attack and was later taken to hospital for treatment.

The men forced Zulu out of the driver's seat of his vehicle and drove him to Dundee, before they forced him to withdraw cash from an ATM.

"They took him towards Glencoe, where he was severely assaulted and his body was dumped in the bushes near Sunset Rest."

The Zulu family reported him missing and on March 23, 2015, the Hattingspruit police found his vehicle abandoned in Nyanyadu.

After further investigation, Zulu's assailants were arrested in Glencoe after community members saw them travelling in his car.

"They were found in possession of perfumes belonging to the pastor. One of the suspects pointed out Zulu's body, which was found near Sunset Rest in Glencoe."

Zwane said Kweswa was a key witness in the case.

Read more on:    durban  |  crime

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