Hefty sentences for three found to have stabbed woman and hanged her body from a beam

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Three men were handed hefty jail sentences for murdering an Eastern Cape woman.
Three men were handed hefty jail sentences for murdering an Eastern Cape woman.
  • Three men have been imprisoned for stabbing a woman and hanging her body from a beam.
  • The woman was murdered after her boyfriend witnessed the men stealing livestock.
  • They assaulted the boyfriend, who later lost consciousness while hiding in a bush.

Three men were handed hefty jail sentences for murdering an Eastern Cape woman and leaving her body hanging from a beam in her home in March 2020.

The murder came after the victim's boyfriend allegedly spotted the three men – Luzuko Msweli, Mabuthi Bless and Nkosinathi Sokutu – stealing livestock.

READ | Man who raped woman at graveyard loses appeal against conviction, sentence

On 9 March 2020, Bulelani Tshaka, 38, a herdsman at the Spioenkop farm in Alexandria, witnessed the men trying to steal a weaned calf, said police spokesperson Captain Mali Govender.

"As soon as he noticed that they had seen him, he walked off. They called out to him and he continued to get away. However, they managed to catch up to him. They started to assault him by hitting him numerous times with the side of a spade, resulting in him sustaining numerous open wounds in his face, head, body and legs," Govender said.

Tshaka managed to escape and hid in some bushes nearby, where he lost consciousness due to a loss of blood.

When they failed to find him, his attackers went to his home and confronted Tshaka's girlfriend, 28-year-old Vuyiswa Mali.

"The accused attacked her, stabbed her and then hung her from a beam with a piece of wire," Govender said.

Rape could not be proven

The Eastern Cape High Court in Makhanda heard how the men raped Mali, told her to wash and change her clothes before stabbing her and hanging her body from a beam. The charge of rape could not be proven in court.

"The following morning, the lifeless body of the victim was found by her co-workers. There was still no sign of Bulelani. Later in the day, Bulelani regained consciousness and managed to get to the owner of the farm for assistance."

He was admitted to Port Alfred Hospital and later transferred to Livingstone Hospital.

Police tracked down Msweli, who confessed and implicated the other two men. Once arrested, Bless and Sokutu also confessed, Govender said.

On Thursday, the High Court sentenced Msweli and Bless to life imprisonment for murder, 15 years for attempted murder and 15 years for aggravated robbery. Sokutu was sentenced to 25 years for murder, 15 years for attempted murder and 15 years for aggravated robbery.

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