Mthatha couple's killers get life in jail

2016-12-15 13:06


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Cape Town – Two men who were found guilty of murdering a young couple whose bodies were found dumped at Mthatha Dam were sentenced to life in jail this week, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said.

Bongani "Tropica" Depana, 22, Andile Mhlophe, 20, and Mkhululi "Ace" Luwaca, 22, attacked Jacqueline Miller, 19, and Carl George, 20, in May last year.

The couple were in their car when the men accosted them with knives, said regional NPA spokesperson Luxolo Tyali.

They demanded the keys to the car, cellphones and tablets before forcing George into the boot.

They drove the car towards Tsolo forest but returned to the dam when they experienced mechanical problems.

"They forced the couple to undress and threw them [from] a high bridge into the deep dam," said Tyali.

The men drove around looking for a mechanic to fix the car but eventually abandoned it after removing the radio with speakers and amplifier.

Police recovered the bodies in the dam after passers-by discovered the car and raised the alarm.

Suicide while awaiting sentencing

The men pleaded not guilty but chose not to testify in their defence, said Tyali.

In choosing not to take the stand, the court noted, "they have treated the parents of the deceased, the members of their families, their own parents, their community and the court with disdain".

Luwaca committed suicide while in prison awaiting sentencing.

Mthatha High Court Judge Zamani Nhlangulela on Wednesday sentenced the two men to life imprisonment for each of the murders.

They also got 15 years imprisonment for robbery and two years for each of the two counts of kidnapping. The sentences would run concurrently.

Tyali said the court agreed with prosecutor Mbulelo Nyendwana that the killers failed to show contrition, repentance and remorse.

"The NPA welcomes the sentence with the hope that it brings closure to the families of the deceased and will deter other youths from choosing the path of crime."

Read more on:    mthatha  |  crime

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