The Pietermaritzburg High Court has sentenced Police Constable Lindokuhle Sikhakhane (27), to an effective 30 years imprisonment, after he pleaded guilty to murdering his friend and fiancé earlier this month. In his plea, Sikhakhane said that on 6 January 2023, he phoned his fiancé, Samkelisiwe Mtshali, who told him that she was not feeling well and was travelling from Pietermaritzburg to her parent’s home in Nquthu. He tried calling her several times thereafter, but she did not answer. He then went to his friend, Sandile Nene (a security guard) who owned a vehicle, asking him for a lift to Nquthu. They agreed that Sikhakhane would pay R3000 for fuel, and they travelled from Pietermaritzburg to Nquthu.

Sikhakhane said that when he phoned Mtshali again, she told him that she was pregnant but cut the call off. He said that at some point in their journey, Nene told him that he must pay an additional R2000 for the fuel. An argument ensued and Nene stopped the vehicle and got off. He said that Nene started firing shots and him and he returned fire (with his service pistol), killing Nene. He then got into the driver’s seat and continued to Nquthu, leaving Nene’s body on the side of the road.

Suspecting that Mtshali was cheating on him, he called a number that he had saved from her phone a while ago. A man answered the call and told him that he was in a relationship with Mtshali. The man apologised to him, saying that he didn’t know Mtshali had a fiancé. Sikhakhane finally managed to contact Mtshali, and they decided that they will drive back to Pietermaritzburg together on 8 January 2023. He said that on the day, as they were driving back, he made a stop in the Pomeroy area where his family lived. At some point, he stopped, ped the car and confronted her about the paternity of the baby she was carrying he asked her to see her cellphone phone refused to talk to him, and he decided to shoot and kill her. He left her body at the spot and drove to his home where he confessed the killings to his mother. He then handed himself over to the police and subsequently made a pointing out and a confession.

In sentencing Sikhakhane, the court found that he was remorseful for his actions and an eligible candidate for rehabilitation. He was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for Nene’s murder and 25 years imprisonment for Mtshali’s murder. The court ordered that 10 years from the Nene murder run concurrently with that of Mtshali’s murder, resulting in an effective sentence of 30, years (5 + 25 years).

In court, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Adv. Mbongeni Mthembu, handed in Victim Impact Statements (VIS) compiled by Nene’s fiancé and brother; and facilitated by Court Preparation Officers Mbalenhle Komane and Nadi Ngcobo. They both said that Nene was a non-via kind, non-violent person and that they are in disbelief about his senseless killing and are not able to recover from their loss.

The NPA welcomes the swift finalisation of this matter and commends the work done by the Prosecutor and the Investigating team.

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