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Durban - A Durban councillor’s son and his friend have been jailed for killing a pensioner and then “callously driving over him” in their haste to get away.
Siyabonga Nyanisa and Siboniso Ncoya, both 20, were convicted in April of robbery with aggravating circumstances and murder.
Ncoya was also convicted of being in possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.
The men attacked pensioner Errol Stainer, 67, outside a Sarnia shop in August 2012.
Stainer was shot in the stomach and fell behind the wheels of his vehicle.
His killers then drove over him with the vehicle three times as they tried to get out of the parking lot.
On Wednesday Durban High Court Judge Mohini Moodley said Nyanisa and Ncoya had been motivated by “sheer greed” and “mercy had to be deserved”.
She said both men had shown disrespect to the court by blatantly lying under oath and had shown no remorse.
She sentenced Nyanisa, who is the son of an eThekwini municipality councillor, to an effective 20 years in prison and Ncoya to an effective 25-year term, deviating from the minimum sentence of life imprisonment for murder.
Referring to video footage from a CCTV camera in the parking lot, which showed that Stainer had put his hands in the air when he was accosted, Moodley said he had posed no threat.
“The deceased lifted up his hands to show there was no resistance but he was shot, driven over and left to die.”
They fled the scene in Stainer’s Opel Corsa but abandoned it after crashing into a tree stump.
Nyanisa was arrested shortly after the incident because he was hit by a car as he ran across the M13 while fleeing from the abandoned vehicle.
Both men denied being involved in the crime.
Nyanisa was linked to the murder as witnesses said they saw a man in a “blue hoodie” shoot Stainer.
The judge ruled the evidence showed Nyanisa was the man in the “hoodie” and this was corroborated by the CCTV footage where his features were clearly visible.
The court found Ncoya guilty after ruling that a “pointing out” was admissible.
Moodley said the crime had not been carried out on the spur of the moment as Nyanisa and Ncoya had planned to hijack a car and sell it.
She said the only mitigating factor to prevent the court from imposing life imprisonment was the relatively young ages of the men at the time of the offence.
She also accepted the submission by State advocate Nick de Klerk that a third suspect, who was seen on the footage but was not arrested, had been the “leader” and Nyanisa and Ncoya were under his influence.
She said while Nyanisa was a first offender who could be rehabilitated, Ncoya had previously been convicted of robbery for which he had been paroled in 2011.