A Mpumalanga man is sentenced to 125 years in prison for kidnapping and killing people who gave him a lift from a tavern. He faced a list of charges for committing crimes in the province with his accomplices.
MAN KIDNAPS AND KILLS TWO MEN WHO GAVE HIM A LIFT FROM A TAVERN
Back in August 2019, a man and his co-accused were offered a lift from a tavern. The two entered the vehicle, Toyota bakkie, driven by David Mthimunye, 40, who was accompanied by Thomas Sibiya, 28.
The occupants had come from a tavern when they met the accused persons, said police spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala.
“Their assailants are said to have kidnapped the two and instructed them to alight from their vehicle.”Brigadier Selvy Mohlala
The two were robbed of the bakkie but the man and his accomplices shot at the two several times, killing them.
The trio hid the bodies by dumping them in nearby bushes before leaving in Mthimunye’s bakkie, said Mohlala.
“After the matter was reported, the police followed leads and recovered debris from the burnt vehicle. The team of investigators intensified their probe and the suspects were arrested with firearms and ammunition recovered.”
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BUT THE MAN AND HIS ACCOMPLICES HAD COMMITTED OTHER PREVIOUS CRIMES
The man behind the kidnapping and murder was identified as Collen Zwelakhe Lukhele, 30. He had committed multiple crimes in the Mpumalanga area. Along with his two co-accused, Tumi Joseph Vuma and Fickson Hine, they were behind a string of criminal acts in the province.
Just the year before, in June 2018, Lukhele and his co-accused entered the home of a tavern owner in Wonderfontein, near Belfast. They robbed the tavern owner of his licenced firearm, Mohlala said.
Lukhele pleaded guilty to a series of charges including two counts of murder, one count of kidnapping. Other charges include three counts of aggravating robbery, three counts of possession of unlicenced firearms and one count of possession of ammunition.
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LUKHELE GETS HEFTY SENTENCE FROM HIGH COURT
Lukhele appeared before the Mpumalanga High Court on Tuesday for sentencing.
As the mastermind behind the crimes, Lukhele was handed a hefty sentence of 125 years’ imprisonment.
His co-accused however did not plead guilty. Their trial still continues, Mohlala said.
“The provincial commissioner of the police in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has commended the hard work by all team members consisting of the investigators, the prosecution, as well as the judiciary who collaboratively made it possible for the accused to receive the outstanding and well-deserved sentence,” Mohala said.
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