SENTENCED: Sigcine Mdani. Picture: Cindy Waxa/African News Agency/ANA
Cape Town - Sigcine Mdani, convicted of murder for killing a lesbian woman, has been sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.

Western Cape High Court Judge Derek Wille delivered his judgment on sentence on Monday for the murder of Driftsands lesbian, Noluvo Swelindawo.

He gave Mdani an additional three years for assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, five years for breaking into Swelindawo's house and kidnapping her, plus three years for possession of an illegal gun and ammunition.

Swelindawo was forcefully removed from her home on the night of December 3, 2016. Her body was found the following day at the footbridge on Old Faure Road.

She had been shot dead and an empty cartridge was found near her body.

The night before her murder Mdani and Swelindawo fought at a party where she sustained a swollen eye and a cut to her chin.

Judge Wille said: “The accused was fuelled by his intolerance of the deceased’s sexual orientation.

"The accused had the opportunity to murder the deceased. Is this a civilised conduct?”

Earlier in court, state prosecutor advocate Ntoaki Mabilietse submitted that the court weigh the gravity of the offence.

“It is, in fact, with respect, the most heinous of serious offences.

"The deceased was only 22-years old when she was killed by the accused. She had her whole life in front of her. Women should be protected by our courts, especially the vulnerable groups,” he said.

Mabilietse submitted that the murder was motivated by the deceased's sexual orientation.

He said the accused was not alone when committing the offence and the deceased was defenceless against the accused and his friends.

In his judgment about three weeks ago, Judge Wille hailed the credibility of the State’s key witness and partner of Swelindawo, Nqabisa Mkatali, the only witness.

“Her evidence is corroborated by the investigating officer and exhibits brought before court.

"The accused was known to her. Her evidence is strengthened to the effect that she recognises his (Mdani's) voice,” said Judge Wille.

Judge Wille said it was the weight of Mkatali’s testimony that secured a guilty conviction.

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Cape Argus