On-bail burglar guilty of murderComment on this story
Cape Town - Two days after he was convicted of housebreaking in Vredenburg, Sibusiso Ntetho broke into two holiday houses on the West Coast and bludgeoned a home owner to death.
Ntetho, 26, was convicted in the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday of the murder of asset manager Alexander Otten, and of robbery with aggravated circumstances. It emerged during sentencing proceedings on Wednesday that Ntetho had been convicted of an unrelated burglary and released on bail ahead of sentencing.
Two days later he and an accomplice, Lusindiso Boosman, set out to burgle Otten’s holiday house.
Otten, 53, the owner of Northstar Asset Management in Bishopscourt, was found dead in the holiday house in a private nature reserve near Velddrif in October 2012.
His hands and feet had been bound, he had been hit over the head with an airgun, and a plastic bag was held over his head.
Earlier, Boosman entered into a plea and sentence agreement with the State and was sentenced to 23 years in jail for his role in the murder and burglaries.
Before reaching Otten’s house, the two burgled a holiday house belonging to James Craven and stole speakers, a DVD player, CDs and a microwave oven. They hid the items in nearby bush expecting to retrieve them later. They then went to the house next door, not aware that Otten was asleep upstairs.
Ntetho pleaded not guilty to murdering Otten and breaking into his home, but admitted that he entered Craven’s house and stole his possessions. Judge Nape Dolamo accepted his guilty plea on that count and convicted him. The judge found that Boosman, who testified against Ntetho, was a reliable witness.
He said he could not find any reason why Boosman would mislead the court or falsely implicate Ntetho, but described Ntetho as a “pathetic” witness offering “inconsistencies, contradictions and improbabilities” and that his version was so improbable it had to be rejected as false.
“I’m satisfied that the State has proved beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of aggravated robbery and murder. You are accordingly found guilty on both counts.”
Ntetho, from the Eastern Cape, testified he only passed Grade 4. He moved to the Western Cape in 2008 and spent much of his life doing casual work in the fishing industry.
The case was postponed to March 27 for a social worker’s report.