A KwaZulu-Natal man who bludgeoned a police administrative clerk has been sentenced to life imprisonment, police said on Thursday.
This week, the high court in Mtubatuba sentenced Nhlanhla “Sathane” Mhlongo, 23, to life imprisonment for murder, 15 years for robbery, five years for kidnapping and five years for malicious damage to property.
Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said he kidnapped and brutally murdered 38-year-old Gareth Toohey on January 22, 2019.
Toohey, who was employed as an admin clerk at the Sundumbili police, was kidnapped and found burnt in a sugarcane field in the Nyoni area.
“Not far from his burnt vehicle, his body was discovered. His hands and legs were tied with a rope and his body was burnt. Investigations revealed that the deceased was assaulted with a hammer and stabbed with a screwdriver before being set alight,” said Gwala.
She said he was also robbed of R200 cash that was taken from his wallet.
“The money was used to buy petrol at a service station to set the victim and his vehicle alight.”
Gwala said a detective traced Mhlongo and arrested him in the Mangethe area at Mandeni.
“During the course of the investigation, it was established that the accused was out on parole for a robbery case committed in 2018.”
Provincial Police Commissioner Lieutenant-General Khombinkosi Jula said the murder sentence would send a “clear message to other criminals that wherever you are hiding, we will find you”.
“We hope that this sentence will bring comfort to the family and colleagues who lost their loved one. The sterling investigation conducted by the investigative team is commended.”