Umhlali farm attackers get 40 years in jail each

Vitathapushanam Govender, 69, died in the attack but her husband survived after being rescued by a former cop who broke down a door to get to him.

The Durban Regional Court has sentenced three men to 40 years imprisonment each for a farm attack in Umhlali last month, provincial police said on Friday.

Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said Michael Smangaliso Mayela, 23, Nkosinathi Phendu Ngcobo, 20, and Odwa Maningi Zida, 21, were each sentenced to 25 years for murder, ten years each on two counts of robbery, five years for attempted murder and three years for possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

“It is alleged on April 19, 2018, a 70-year-old, the owner of the house, came home at 21:00 and his wife opened the gate. Three unknown suspects gained entry and forced the owner into the house and locked the house. They tied his hands and legs and threw him on the floor. They also tied his wife’s hands and gagged her mouth. They left her to die in the bedroom,” said Mbhele.

Mbhele said they then ransacked the house. At 05:00 the following morning, the owner managed to get up with his hands tied and screamed for help. A nearby labourer got assistance and an ex-policeman broke open the door and untied the owner and rushed him to hospital.

“There were items that were taken from the house. A 69-year-old victim, Vitathapushanam Govender, died at the scene. Charges of house robbery, murder and attempted murder were opened for investigations at Umhlali SAPS. The docket was taken by the Provincial Task Team for further investigation.

“The team worked tirelessly and traced the accused in the Eastern Cape area earlier this month where they were hiding. They were arrested and the stolen property was found in their possession,” said Mbhele.

African News Agency (ANA)

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