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Durban - The three robbers who hijacked and kidnapped Durban North estate agent Dorothy Carlyle and took her on a nine-hour terror ride will be old men before they see the outside of their jail cells.
Durban regional magistrate Anand Maharaj on Monday handed the men – Sthembiso Ntombela, Lindokuhle Dlamini and Smiso Ximba – a combined sentence of 135 years in prison because, he said, they had shown no remorse and their punishment had to reflect the gravity of their offences.
“You treated her (Carlyle) in the most inhumane and harsh manner. The fact that she survived and was brave enough to come here to testify shows that people like you will not be allowed to get away with your heinous acts,” Maharaj said.
“There was no need to take her with the vehicle, stab her, trample on her and keep her against her will.”
Ntombela was sentenced to 45 years in jail, Dlamini to 30 years and Ximba to 60 years.
The men, who are in their 20s, were charged with robbing, kidnapping and attempting to rape Carlyle.
Carlyle was accosted in the driveway of her home in October and bundled into her silver BMW.
She was kept in the boot of her car while her kidnappers went on a joyride with three young girls, withdrew money from Carlyle’s bank account, drank alcohol and took drugs.
Carlyle was rescued after the police located her car outside a tavern in KwaMashu.
Ntombela and Ximba were also charged with the robbery and attempted hijacking in Durban North in which Meena Parbulall was accosted with her two teenage sons outside her parents’ home in August last year.
Ximba was found guilty of all the crimes, and Ntombela of two robberies and kidnapping.
Dlamini was found guilty of kidnapping and attempted rape.
Maharaj said the crime statistics, released last week and which showed hijackings went up by 9 percent in KwaZulu-Natal in 2012/13, painted a bleak picture.
“Violent crimes such as murder, rape and robbery have become the foremost concern for all law-abiding people.
“The statistics show a country where there is uncertainty about one’s safety. No civilised community should have to accept crime.”
According to the statistics, there were 2 427 hijackings in KZN between April 1 last year and March 31 this year.
Maharaj said Carlyle, Parbulall and police officers who had testified had been credible and honest witnesses. He added that while there were contradictions in some of the evidence of two of the young girls who were with the men during Carlyle’s kidnapping, their evidence relating to the incident had been corroborated by Carlyle.
The girls, who may not be named because they are minors, were initially charged with the crimes, but the charges were withdrawn and they testified as accomplice witnesses.
Maharaj also praised investigating officer Constable Zanele Nene for her handling of the case.
Speaking outside the court, Carlyle said she was happy that “justice had been served”. She said she had become more vigilant and more cautious since the incident.
“I keep my doors and gate locked at home, whereas before I was more relaxed. I also take more precautions at show houses.”
Carlyle said if you wanted to see criminals jailed, you had to testify.