A man who had his father killed because he was fed up of being reprimanded for smoking nyaope and using other substances, has been sentenced to life behind bars in the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.
Brutus Mhlanga conspired with Caswell Ntsheula, Hloniphani Ntombela and Patrick Ziqubu to kill his father in August 2017.
Mhlanga offered his father’s car as a “down payment” to his co-accused and promised to pay them R150,000 once he received his inheritance.
On December 11 that year, Ntsheula, Ntombela, Ziqubu and a fifth suspect known only as Thando, went to Mhlanga’s parents’ house in Katlehong armed with a gun and a knife.
There, Ntsheula and Thando shot and stabbed Mhlanga’s father, Shiviti Freddy Mhlanga, killing him. They also shot Mhlanga’s mother, Cokweni Lizzy Mhlanga, but she survived.
The men then fled the scene in the deceased’s Toyota Hilux.
On Tuesday, Judge Seun Moshidi sentenced the men to life imprisonment and multiple years’ imprisonment for conspiracy to commit murder, murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, the illegal possession of firearm and ammunition, and attempted murder, said National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane.
Ntsheula was sentenced to life imprisonment plus 45 years, Ntombela to life plus 51 years, Ziqubu to life plus 63 years and Mhlanga to life plus 51 years.
They were arrested after a police officer received information that Ntsheula was in possession of a firearm without a licence.
Searching Ntsheula’s home, police found one round of ammunition. When police asked where the firearm was, he told them that Ntombela had it.
Police then went to Ntombela’s home and searched it, but no firearm was found. Ntombela informed the police that he had another house which they could search.
Upon arrival at the other property, police found the Toyota Hilux parked in the driveway. When they ran a check on the vehicle, they found that it had been reported stolen and that the owner had been killed.
“Ntombela was surprised as he was not expecting the vehicle to have been reported stolen as it was a ‘down payment’ [for the killing],” Mjonondwane said.
When asked about the vehicle’s keys, Ntombela directed police to Ziqubu’s home where a firearm was found.
When police asked them where the vehicle came from, the men directed them to Mhlanga’s home where they found a murder scene.
Mhlanga’s mother was taken to hospital because she had a gunshot wound to her chest.
Ntombela was arrested on December 12, 2017, and the other three men were arrested the following day.
“The NPA commends the persistent work by police officers to solve this senseless crime, as well as the commitment and dedication displayed by the prosecutor in securing a successful prosecution,” said Mjonondwane.