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Nelspruit - Two men found guilty of murdering a Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport employee three years ago were sentenced to life imprisonment by the Nelspruit circuit of the High Court on Wednesday.
Justin Fanyana Malambe, 43, and Sibusiso Wander Phelembe, 29, were convicted of murdering Nonkululeko Thandi Khoza, a Sapa correspondent reported.
Khoza was killed at her home in Dwaleni Trust, outside White River, on May 21, 2010.
“Both accused showed no remorse,” Judge Daisy Molefe said in sentencing them.
“In the last minute, they still maintained their innocence. The court has found no reason why the deceased was raped, robbed and killed. The two acted with disregard for human life,” she said.
Malambe was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder and to 15 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances. The sentences would run concurrently.
Phelembe was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder, 15 years for robbery and 20 years for rape. The sentences would run concurrently.
Molefe said it was high time courts sent a strong message against rape and murder.
“The rape charge against Phelembe is very serious, as he has a previous conviction for rape and was sentenced to two years, suspended for five years, on July 17, 2008.”
She said sentencing offenders was not an easy task.
“I have to do it as I represent the society. Due to the continuous brutal killings of women and children, the community wants to see justice being done.”
She said that in this case, the court had failed to establish which of them struck the fatal blow.
Malambe, who worked with Khoza at the airport, was found in possession of the hammer used in the murder, but he declined to take the stand to give the court a full picture of events the night of the murder.
Molefe said: “We can do whatever we can, but Khoza’s life will never be replaced. Khoza wanted to live longer and raise her children, like you two.”
She said Khoza's daughter, Ruth, had been left to raise her four younger siblings after the murder.