Life imprisonment for gardener who killed Western Cape couple ‘who treated him like a son’

A gardener has been sentenced to life imprisonment for killing his employers. Picture: Pixabay

A gardener has been sentenced to life imprisonment for killing his employers. Picture: Pixabay

Published Mar 6, 2024


Almost five years after Western Cape couple Rugeya Addinall and her husband, Riedwaan Addinall, were brutally attacked and murdered in their home, their killers have been sentenced to jail.

On Monday, the Western Cape High Court jailed gardener, Gcinilelitha Ngcobelothe, to life imprisonment and his friend, Lwazi Ntsibantsiba to 20 years.

The couple, both aged 82, was strangled to death in their Sandown Drive, Ottery home on January 5, 2019.

Ngcobelothe had worked as a gardener for the couple for some years, and was convicted of their murder on September 13, 2022.

The court heard that rat poison pellets were found in Rugeya’s mouth.

According to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Judge Brian Hack, found that Ngcobelo failed to express remorse.

“Judge Hack found that the accused betrayed the trust of a couple who loved and treated him like a son although he was employed as a labourer,” said NPA spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila.

Ngcobelo received life imprisonment for each murders and 15 years direct imprisonment for the robbery with aggravating circumstances.

All the sentenced would run concurrently resulting in life imprisonment.

The NPA said Judge Hack found there were substantial and compelling circumstances to deviate from the prescribed minimum when sentencing Ntsibantsiba.

“He also found that he did not know the couple and therefore did not betray their trust and there was a chance that he could be rehabilitated.”

Ntsibantsiba was jailed to 20 years for each murder and 12 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances.

The court heard that murder-accused had ransacked the deceased’s house, loading a cordless phone, flat screen television, microwave oven, Blue-Ray DVD player, braai grid, a remote control, and keys into their vehicle.

Ntabazalila said the couple’s bodies were found by family members in the living room.

“It showed a struggle had ensued, with upturned furniture, strewn household items and shopping on the floor.”

The NPA said during court proceeding both of the accused turned on each other, accusing the other of the murder.

Director of Public Prosecutions, Western Cape, Advocate Nicolette Bell welcomed the convictions saying crimes against the most vulnerable in society remain a priority for the prosecuting authority.

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