Gasa murderer granted leave to appeal

The man convicted of the murder of businessman Nhlanhla Gasa was granted leave to appeal his 30-year sentence in the Durban Regional Court.

Magistrate Anand Maharaj said the situation required another court to step in and make a decision on whether the sentence was fair and just.

Mbulelo Ntlauzana (25) was sentenced in April to 20 years for murder and 10 years for robbery and malicious damage to property.

Ntlauzana admitted in his statement, read by his lawyer Hycenth Mlotshwa, that he stabbed Gasa several times after the businessman tried to kiss him on the cheek.

When Mlotshwa brought the application for leave to appeal, he said the court overlooked the fact that the murder was not premeditated.

He said the deceased was partly to blame because he was the instigator, as he tried to have sexual intercourse with Ntlauzana against his will.

“The applicant tried, to no avail, to avoid the confrontation on the night in question. However the deceased was persistent in trying to get what he wanted,” Mlotshwa said.

He said Maharaj did not consider that Ntlauzana pleaded guilty to all the charges and co-operated with police after he made the confession.

Mlotshwa said the magistrate had not given reasons why an extra five years was added to the minimum sentence of 15 years for the murder charge. The magistrate had also not considered that Ntlauzana was young, had three minor children, and was a first time offender, he said.

“It is respectively submitted that the sentence imposed by the learned magistrate on the applicant is unjust in that it is disproportionate to the crime,” he said.

State prosecutor Kuveshni Pillay opposed the application, saying the court had dealt adequately with the crime and the sentence had not been shockingly inappropriate.

Ntlauzana was arrested in Groutville on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast on April 13.

Gasa’s body was found floating in the Tugela River in March. Police found his burnt-out Jaguar close by.

Gasa was the father of South African television personality Noni Gasa.

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