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Justice for blind, diabetic, amputee KZN gran who was shot in mouth by grandson-in-law

By Mphathi Nxumalo Time of article published Sep 3, 2019

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Durban - BLIND, diabetic and with one leg amputated, Thembisile Dlamini still provided for her three foster children and three grandchildren.

Until a bullet in the mouth ended her life on May 23, 2015.

Dlamini was murdered by her grandchild’s former lover, who attacked the family at their home in Amatikwe, in Inanda, KwaZulu-Natal.

Ntuzuma Magistrate E la Grange expressed horror at the murder of the helpless 58-year-old at the hands of Bheki Khumalo, 42, after a tiff with his girlfriend, Sithembile Dlamini, with whom he had three children.

La Grange said the shooting had been premeditated and that Khumalo had attacked a home with defenceless women and children inside.

During proceedings, it emerged that Khumalo and Sithembile had a fight after he took one of their three children without her permission.

She had called the police to get the child back, angering Khumalo.

He then went to the family home at 3am. As he tried to kick the door down, Sithembile jumped out of a window and ran off, followed by her sister Silindile.

The immobile Dalmini could only scream. It emerged that Khumalo had shot her in the mouth to silence her screams.

La Grange said Khumalo had shot Dlamini to hurt Sithembile’s feelings. She said he had set fires in the house and left Dlamini for dead.

Despite the overwhelming evidence presented by the State, the father of five continued to profess his innocence, she said.

La Grange also took him to task for not paying maintenance for his children, in the time he was out of jail, during the case. She said he had earned about R3000 a month as a taxi driver in Inanda.

During sentencing arguments, prosecutor Kaystree Ramsamujh highlighted the various physical challenges Dlamini had.

“She was shot in the sanctity of her own home,” she added.

Ramsamujh said the family had been dependent on the grant money provided by the matriarch and that there was no reason for her to be killed.

She said the damage done to the house, when Khumalo set it on fire, was estimated at about R404000, including the goods inside. The family then lived at a neighbour's home for a year, as they tried to get back on their feet.

“The accused has not shown one iota of remorse,” said Ramsamujh. He was egotistical and had masculinity problems, she said.

Legal Aid defence attorney SL Khumalo said the court should show mercy to Khumalo and argued that the sentences the court gave should run concurrently.

However, La Grange said the murder was a premeditated act and sentenced Khumalo to 20 years for murder and 10 years for arson.

The sentences would run consecutively, she said.

Sithembile said she and the remaining family had been left distraught by their grandmother's murder.

“We are happy that he is going to jail,” she said.

Sithembile said she had never lost hope that Khumalo would go to jail, even though he had been released on warning during the trial. She said she had been feeling the pressure of providing for the family since her grandmother's death. She had been doing odd jobs and had been told that she was unable to provide for the family like her grandmother had done.

Dlamini’s niece Gabisile said she was happy with the sentence, and would have accepted any sentence as long as Khumalo stayed in jail. “He is going to have a tough time in jail,” she said.

Daily News

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