The Mtunzini High Court has sentenced Sifiso Mhlongo (26) and Sabelo Mhlongo (22) to life and 20 years imprisonment each, for the kidnapping, robbery and murder of a 60-year-old man, Vusimuzi Mlaba, in Eshowe in July 2019. The man, a high school teacher, lived alone and prior to the incident the Mhlongos had planned to rob him.

On the evening of the incident, they went to his house where they found the door open. They went in and demanded his belongings from him, taking his wallet, cellphone and cash. They then put him into the boot of his car and drove to the sugar mill area. There, they took him out of the car boot and into the forest where they strangled him to death and left his body. They fled in his car.

A few days later Mlaba’s girlfriend reported him missing at the police station. She advised them that his car was fitted with a tracking device. The tracking company was called and the police arrested the men in possession of the stolen car.

In court, state advocate Thobile Ntsele led the evidence of the tracking device, Mlaba’s girlfriend and the police. The data from the tracking device assisted the police to trace the Mhlongo’s movements and was also instrumental in locating Mlaba’s decomposing body. Ntsele also submitted a Victim Impact Statement compiled by Mlaba’s daughter and facilitated by Court Preparation Officer Mandisa Sikakane. In her statement the daughter said that they were worried when they did not hear from Mlaba, as he always kept in contact. She said that Mlaba provided them with a very good life and they could not sustain that life since his death. She described him as a kind and generous person.

Each of the men were sentenced to life imprisonment for murder, 15 years imprisonment for robbery with aggravating circumstances and 5 years imprisonment for kidnapping. They will serve an effective term of life imprisonment.

The NPA welcomes the successful finalisation of this matter and commends the work done by the prosecutor and the investigating team.

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