Durban - THE mother of the Westwood shop manager who was stabbed to death on his way to work, told the Durban High Court she had named him Mohamed because she wanted him to follow in the Muslim prophet’s footsteps.
MTN branch manager Mohamed Yusuf Janoo Joosab, 22, was stabbed several times near Westwood Mall on November 22, 2017. His assailants robbed him of his cellphone and cash before stabbing him to death.
However, only one of his killers - Gamelihle Mdladla, 25 - was arrested.
Mdladla was linked to two other robberies at the same spot on the M13.
On Wednesday he was sentenced to life imprisonment and an additional 58 years for all counts of robbery. He was sentenced to a total of 73 years’ imprisonment.
Shireen Osman Joosab said her son was a good, loving young man. She said the family was still struggling to come to terms with his death.
She and her two daughters are still attending counselling to help them deal with their trauma.
Joosab said her son had so much more to live for. “He was passionate and kind. His days off from work were not for himself - he used them to do something for me and his siblings. He was a gift from God. In his time off he would also help his father in his business. His colleagues also commended him for his good heart. He would share his lunch with others. At home we would not go to bed without a cup of tea made by him. He was trustworthy, honest and kind,” she said.
The investigating officer, Mohamed Suliman Charles, said during the trial that although blood found on pants and a knife seized from Mdladla’s house during his arrest had not tested positive for DNA, the evidence of two witnesses and victims linked him to Joosab’s murder and three robberies.
Mdladla was arrested by Charles and members of the Dog Unit at an informal settlement on Kennedy Road. His alleged accomplice is still at large.
Leonard Mphuthi testified that he was robbed by Mdladla and his accomplice at the same spot near the mall in October 2017, while waiting for a friend to pick him up.
Joan Lynche, 63, had testified that she was robbed of her handbag on Women’s Day last year. She pointed out Mdladla during the identity parade.
Mdladla’s attorney, Simphiwe Mtshwa, asked the court to consider his personal circumstances - that he grew up without a father figure to guide him, had dropped out of school and did not have a stable job.
Kelvin Singh, the State’s senior advocate, said Mdladla’s full-time job was to rob people of their belongings.
“He has shown no remorse for his actions. If he did, he would have taken the witness stand and apologised to the Joosab family and his victims,” he said.
Judge Khosi Hadebe agreed with Singh that Mdladla had committed the crimes with arrogance and disregard for the law and his victims. She agreed he had shown no remorse for his actions.
She found there were no exceptional circumstances for the court to deviate from the minimum prescribed sentences. She said the submission that he did not have a father figure to guide him and that he had dropped out of school in Grade 9 were not excuses for taking the life of an innocent man.
“Although from a disadvantaged background, he was given a chance in life, but he graduated to crime,” she said.