Stiff jail terms for Mpofu’s attackers

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INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

Dali Mpofu at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry. File picture: Oupa Mokoena

East London - Two men convicted of assaulting human rights lawyer and politician Dali Mpofu a year ago were jailed by the East London Regional Court on Tuesday.

Chuma Komeni, 23, and Thulani Simon, 18, attacked Mpofu and stabbed him several times before robbing him of his personal belongings in a bushy area along the East London beach-front on April 11 last year.

Komeni, described as having initiated and masterminded Mpofu's attack, was sentenced to nine years in prison.

This sentence would run concurrently with a 12 year jail term he is currently serving in Mdantsane prison for a separate case of robbery.

Simon, a first-time offender who was 17-years-old when the crime was committed, was sentenced to five years in jail.

Magistrate Sadia Jacobs described the crime as gruesome and said the two did not show any remorse.

In April, Jacobs found the pair guilty of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, and robbery.

Sentencing was then postponed to allow the State to verify Simon's age. It subsequently emerged that the crime was committed two days before Simon turned 18.

In mitigation of sentence, defence lawyer Sivuyile Ntlonze pleaded for leniency for his clients, saying the court should take their circumstances and ages into consideration.

Dr Marina Johnson of ER Consulting Inc, who treated Mpofu in St Dominics Private Hospital, told the court Mpofu suffered a penetrating chest wound that ruptured his lung causing it to collapse.

After the attack, the two fled with Mpofu's cellphone and R900 but police later recovered some of his belongings.

Sapa


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