Brother of Durban beheading victim refuses killer's apology
Nzimakwe had been reported missing when his body was found in Mayville and linked to a head that had been found when a man trying to sell it to a traditional healer in the Durban CBD was arrested in August 2017.
Philani Jojisa was convicted of Nzimakwe’s murder after he pleaded guilty on Monday. He told the court that he was going to sell the head to a traditional healer for R20 000 when he was found with it in his backpack.
Lehlohonolo Swartbooi, who was arrested as an accomplice a few days later, has pleaded not guilty.
Jojisa had told the court that he had financial problems and owed four loan sharks a total of about R6000.
In his guilty plea statement, Jojisa apologised to the Nzimakwe family.
Nzimakwe’s brother Vuyani yesterday took the witness stand and spoke of the trauma the family went through due to the manner in which his brother was killed.
He said not only were they robbed of their loved one, but they waited three months before they could bury him as they had to wait for the state to conduct a DNA analysis of the body.
All they had was the head of his brother kept in the mortuary, waiting for the body to be verified as his.
“We waited approximately three months before we buried him. It was so painful, especially because we were robbed of an opportunity to mourn his death properly and observe our cultural practices because we did not know when we would get the body,” he said.
Vuyani said the family was shown pictures of the separated head and body, which had confirmed their worst nightmares.
He said because of what the family went through, it was hard to accept Jojisa’s apology.
“It is too painful. No amount of apology will bring my brother back. And it’s definitely not going to make our pain less,” he said.
Senior state advocate Wendy Greeff addressed the court, pointing out that although Jojisa had shown some degree of remorse, this was a most horrific murder.
She said the trauma suffered by the Nzimakwe family warranted the court to hand down an appropriate punishment.
Attorney Sizwe Masondo said Jojisa should be punished for his crime, but pleaded with the court to also consider that he had agreed to testify against his co-accused, Swartbooi.