Men jailed for unionist’s murder

The two men found guilty of the murder of trade unionist Mbuyiseni Phajane Mnguni, Michael Bheki Mthethwa (29) and Lefu Johannes Motloung (41), have been sentenced to life imprisonment.

The Sasolburg High Court sentenced them on Friday, 8 September, bringing closure to the case of the trade unionist’s murder committed 34 months ago.

The victim had worked for a firm in Sasolburg. At the time of his death he was a member of the South African Communist Party (SACP) and held the position of regional secretary of the Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers Union (Ceppwawu) in Sasolburg.

The two killers were each sentenced to two terms of life imprisonment for robbery and the murder of Mnguni.

The murder trial began late in July 2016 after WO Louis Hendricks arrested the accused in Orangeville following intensive investigation.

Col Thando Mbambo, Free State police spokesperson, said findings had revealed the accused had sold Mnguni’s brand new Polo for R3 500 after committing the murder.

She said the victim’s body had been recovered floating in the Wilge River near Oranjeville on 31 October 2014.

“The cause of death was drowning,” she said.

The breakthrough in the murder investigation was the discovery of Mnguni’s car.

“His car was found by chance, as it had been fraudulently cloned. The original owner reported the cloned vehicle to the police.

“The two accused admitted to selling Mnguni’s car for R3 500.”

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