- A KwaZulu-Natal man has been handed a lengthy jail sentence for kidnapping and killing his cousin.
- The Pietermaritzburg High Court heard the accused had been motivated to kill after being caught stealing from his cousin.
- The victim's body was found hanging from a tree in the same area as his home, with serious injuries to his body.
A KwaZulu-Natal man has been sentenced to 25 years behind bars after he was found guilty of killing his cousin.
Xolani Mchunu, 41, was sentenced in the Pietermaritzburg High Court for kidnapping and killing his cousin, Lerato Malembe, 35.
The court heard that, on 28 December 2018, Malembe was sleeping at his Swayimani home, when he heard a knock on the door from someone claiming to be the police.
The attacker broke down the door, entered the room, and assaulted Malembe.
He dragged Malembe to his vehicle and drove to an unknown destination.
Later that day, a passer-by spotted the body hanging from a tree in the area and informed the police.
The victim had serious injuries to his body and a case of murder was opened.
The police investigation revealed that, in 2013, Malembe had been paid out a claim by the Road Accident Fund for serious injuries sustained in an accident.
Mchunu, who had assisted his cousin in lodging the claim, had reportedly stolen some of this money from Malembe.
Malembe had confronted Mchunu, which led to the murder, said police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala.
This infuriated the accused, who then plotted to kill Malembe.
Mchunu was arrested and found in possession of Malembe's bank cards and ID book.