‘I didn’t mean to kill him’

2019-12-05 16:12

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The man who caused an outcry among Durban University of Technology students when he killed one of their own, on Wednesday pleaded guilty to hitting him twice on the head with a hammer and robbing him.

Msizi Mbotho (29) was convicted of the murder of Sandile Ndlovu by Pietermaritzburg high court Judge Khosi Hadebe.

He admitted to hitting Ndlovu twice on the head with a hammer on September 9, causing his death 12 days afterwards. The incident happened in a lecture hall at the Berea campus.

Ndlovu (18) was a first-year industrial engineering student. His death sparked an outcry among students, who held protests and called on the university to tackle safety issues.

In his plea, read out by attorney Irshad Khan, Mbotho said that late in the afternoon he went to the campus to steal “any portable items of value”.

“I did so out of desperation as I had no job, no money and no prospects of a job to earn any money,” he said.

Mbotho revealed that he gained entry into the university by pretending to be a student.

While walking around the university he came across a construction site where he saw a hammer that he thought might come in handy to break down any locked doors in his search for valuable goods.

“I put the hammer in my bag and continued my search where I found the deceased [Ndlovu] in a lecture hall in the process of connecting his laptop and wireless router,” he said.

He stood behind Ndlovu and took out the hammer from his bag. With it, he hit the student twice on the back of his head.

Ndlovu fell to the ground and Mbotho immediately grabbed his laptop, router and cell phone and put it into his bag.

He thereafter fled from the university without determining the extent of Ndlovu’s injuries.

Mbotho added that he later discovered that Ndlovu was taken to City Hospital for treatment for the head injuries that he had inflicted.

He also said that Ndlovu would not have submitted to the theft of his property had he [Mbotho] not assaulted him with the hammer.

Mbotho admitted that he intended to deprive Ndlovu of his property but said he had no direct intention to kill him.

However, he admitted that when he used the hammer he realised that Ndlovu could be seriously injured or killed.

Mbotho said he is truly remorseful for what he has done and he is prepared to take responsibility for his actions. He also asked the court to show whatever mercy may be proper in determining an appropriate sentence.

Arguments on sentence take place on Monday.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  court case

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