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Durban man sentenced to life imprisonment for wife's murder

Slain Nwabisa Mgandela smiling.

Nwabisa Mgandela was murdered in June 2020. File picture: Supplied

Published Aug 17, 2023


A man from Ndwedwe in KwaZulu-Natal has been sentenced to life imprisonment in the Durban High Court for the murder of his wife, 31-year-old Nwabisa Mgandela.

Bhekukwanda Ian Cele was convicted of his wife’s murder which was perpetrated in June 2020.

The court heard that at some stage the marriage between the couple had soured, and weeks before Mgandela’s murder, Cele moved out and found another residence.

Mgandela remained in the house with the children.

On the night of the murder, Cele returned to his marital home with unknown men who assaulted his wife and strangled her with a rope.

She was moved to the bathroom and placed in the bathtub with one end of the rope around her neck and the other tied to a rafter above the bathtub.

During the trial the court heard Mgandela died as a result of the injuries sustained.

After the attack on his wife, Cele left with the unknown men.

He was arrested the following day.

Previously, IOL’s sister title, Isolezwe, reported the children had witnessed their mother’s murder.

State Prosecutor Advocate Gugu Xulu maintained throughout the court matter that Cele and his companions acted in the execution of a common purpose.

The victim impact statements from Mgandela’s family read before the court expressed the difficulty they continue to face due to the loss. Relatives also expressed their fear of Cele.

The provincial spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Natasha Ramkisson-Kara, said she hoped the metered sentence would serve as a deterrent to like-minded individuals.

"Curbing the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide is one of our key priorities. We commend the hard work done by the Prosecution and SAPS in securing this conviction," Ramkisson-Kara said.