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IFP welcomes 25-year prison sentence for man who killed its councillor

IFP councillor Mthembeni Majola. Picture: Supplied

IFP councillor Mthembeni Majola. Picture: Supplied

Published Oct 23, 2023


Durban — The IFP has welcomed the 25-year imprisonment of a man who shot and killed its ward councillor, Mthembeni Excellent Majola, and his nephew, Sithembiso Promise Mahlinza.

The Pietermaritzburg High Court sentenced Ayanda Siyanda Mshengu to an effective 25 years in jail for the two murders and one attempted murder he committed in August 2019 in the Estcourt area.

IFP KwaZulu-Natal spokesperson on community safety and liaison Blessed Gwala gave credit to the investigating team, who worked tirelessly to ensure that there was a watertight case against Mshengu.

“We feel vindicated, as on numerous occasions the IFP has called on the courts to show no mercy to ruthless killers.

“We commend the judge for ensuring that justice prevailed in this matter and trust that the Majola family will now find some measure of solace,” Gwala said.

He said the sentence must serve as a deterrent to any would-be killers.

“While we welcome the sentence, we still want to know who ordered the killing of Councillor Mthembeni Majola, as well as several other councillors. Often, those who order these killings are let off the hook. They must also be apprehended,” Gwala said.

“We urge the courts to ensure that anyone found guilty of murder is severely punished, without any option of getting parole. Gun-toting assassins have no place in our society; they must be weeded out and sent to jail for the rest of their lives.”

KZN National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Natasha Ramkisson-Kara said Majola was a ward councillor for the local branch of the IFP in Estcourt.

The party was divided into two opposing factions and there was animosity between the factions.

Majola was the leader of one of the factions, and members of the opposing faction wanted him dead. There had been previous attempts on his life which had rendered him a paraplegic.

She said when Majola was killed, he was driving on the R105 highway in the Estcourt area. He was accompanied by his minor nephew, and Sithembiso Promise Mahlinza.

A car pulled up alongside their vehicle and the occupants, Mshengu being one of them, fired at Majola’s vehicle, killing him and Mahlinza.

They died of multiple gunshot wounds and Mshengu was arrested after police traced him in Soweto.

Ramkisson-Kara said that in court, advocates Lawrence Gcaba, Elvis Gcweka and Nhlanhla Shange represented the State.

They led the evidence of the police officials who arrested Mshengu as well as the confession and pointings-out he made upon his arrest.

Even though Mshengu later denied the confession and noted it in court, the State-led evidence convinced the court to accept the evidence. The evidence of Majola's nephew was also led.

She said the State handed in Victim Impact Statements compiled by Majola’s loved ones and facilitated by Court Preparation Officer, Mbalenhle Valencia Komane.

The statements mentioned that Majola was a kind and generous person who took care of his family as well as members of the community. They said that his death had left a void in their lives.

“Mshengu was sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment for Majola’s murder, 20 years’ imprisonment for Mahlinza’s murder and 5 years’ imprisonment for the attempted murder of Majola’s nephew,” Ramkisson-Kara said.

“The court deviated from the minimum sentence of life imprisonment for the murders as the court believed that Mshengu showed remorse by making the initial confession. Since the sentences will run concurrently, he will serve an effective 25 years in jail.”

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