An Mpumalanga man who shot and killed an unknown man he believed to be a burglar attempting to gain entry into his house was on Thursday given a suspended sentence.
Nelson Nobunga (39) of Sibayeni village near the Swazi and Mozambican border, was sentenced after pleading guilty to culpable homicide in the Tonga Regional Court on Thursday, a Sapa corespondent reported.
Prosecutor Joy Ndlovu told the court that anyone could have done what Ndlovu did.
"Shooting and killing the victim doesn't mean the accused did a right thing, but this could happen to anyone. The accused's wife testified that they were sleeping at night when they heard something moving on the roof and her husband grabbed his gun and shot in the victim's direction," said Ndlovu.
Magistrate Edgar Moletsane told the court that what Nobunga did was wrong.
"A normal person could not shoot directly at his attacker just to frighten him. You were supposed to think before you took the shot because now someone's life has been taken away... Sir, this is a serious crime," said Moletsane.
Moletsane sentenced Nobunga to seven years in prison, which is suspended for five years, meaning he would be jailed for seven years should he be found guilty of the same offence in the next five years.
The magistrate also took away Nobunga's rights to own a firearm.
The deceased is unknown and no one has claimed his body.