Biggest Fashion Sale Of The Year! Shop 12 000 Up To 70% OFF!
Durban - A former Inanda police captain has been sentenced to an effective 32 years in prison for his role in the “heinous” vigilante murder of a man who was burnt to death.
Jabulani Antony Zuma, 56, was convicted by the Durban High Court of murder, three counts of kidnapping, common assault and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
Four of his co-accused were convicted of kidnapping, common assault and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and were each sentenced to an effective 26 years in prison.
Zuma and the four - Sandile Cyril Mvubu, 23, Thandokuhle Myeza, 20, Siyanda Ngubane, 24, and Brian Sandisi Khumalo, 29 - were convicted on Thursday and sentenced on Friday.
The court had heard that three men - Nkosikhona Blessing Nzimande, Sandile Kenneth Khuzwayo and Sikhumbuzo Mgedezi - had been suspected of thefts in Inanda and were taken from their homes to a house on Brooks Farm, Amaoti, where they were interrogated by Zuma.
Later, Nzimande and Mgedezi were taken to a sports field in Ngoqokazi, Amaoti, using Zuma’s police van.
Khuzwayo was also kidnapped and taken to the same area by taxi.
They were severely assaulted by the accused who then returned to Brooks Farm where Nzimande was rescued by his father.
The other two were taken to another area where they were further assaulted and Mgedezi was set alight. The post-mortem report stated that Mgedezi died of “possible burns”.
Acting Judge Thomas Ncube said during sentence that it was expected that Zuma, as a policeman, should have been the one to “make peace”.
Even if the victims committed the alleged housebreaking, it was not for the accused to take the law into their own hands, he said, labelling the crime as “heinous”.
The court found that there was no evidence that any of the other accused were present when Mgedezi’s body was set alight.
Mvubu’s employer, restaurateur Sandi Erica Richmond, said in mitigation of sentence that he was a talented and hardworking employee.
Starting out in the scullery, Mvubu had quickly mastered every task she threw at him in the kitchen, she told the court.
“He could work at the Oyster Box Hotel in uMhlanga because he’s that good. I would welcome him back to my restaurant today,” Richmond said.
However, the court described Mvubu and Myeza as brutal, saying they were the leaders in the attack.
Applications for leave to appeal in respect of all five were dismissed.