LATEST: Sithole killers sentenced

sitholeJOHANNESBURG – The two men found guilty of murdering Mozambican national Emmanuel Sithole, have been sentenced to 17 and 10 years respectively.

Their sentences have been handed down by the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court.

Mthinta Bhengu and Sifundo Mzimela were found guilty last November, of stabbing Sithole on the streets of Alexandra in Johannesburg, at the height of xenophobic violence.

Bhengu and Mzimela took cigarettes from Sithole without paying.

When he demanded payment they attacked and killed him.

Sithole’s brutal murder was documented by Sunday Times journalist, James Oatway. The photojournalist later helped transport the victim to a hospital where he succumbed to his wounds.

Bhengu, Accused number 1, was handed the 17-year sentence, while Mzimela, Acused number 2, was given 10 years.

Magistrate Lucas van der Schyff told the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court Sithole’s murder was “senseless and brutal” as he wasn’t armed at the time.

He said the minimum sentence did not suffice for Bhengu, who already has a criminal record, is a danger to society and should be removed from society for a long time. Court may deviate from the minimum sentence if there are compelling reasons to do so.

Accused number 3, a minor, was released on probation, and under supervision on condition that he fulfils probation requirementsand reports to court. If he doesn’t comply, he must appear in court again and could be imprisoned. He’d been convicted of assault and robbery in the incident.- eNCA

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