Five men who beat and burnt a 38-year-old father of four to death in KwaMashu, north Durban, in 2015, were all sentenced to life in prison in the Durban High Court on Monday.

In sentencing Xolani Ntombela, Lungelo Dlamini, Siyabonga Gatsha, Ndumiso Nyandeni and Siyabonga Ngema, the presiding judge said they had shown no remorse for thier actions.

“The deceased was a young family man with four children, who were still attending school. Their mother was unemployed. The family has been deprived of a breadwinner,” he said.

The deceased, Nkunzikayibekwa Nxumalo, was dragged from his shack in the dead of night and thrown into a fire.

He was pelted with rocks and stones and finally, a tyre was looped around his bruised and battered body and he was set alight.

The men who killed Nxumalo, who hailed from rural northern KwaZulu Natal, believed he had bewitched one of his neighbours.

The judge said on Monday that the aggravating factors against the accused, outweighed their personal circumstances and that there was no reason for him to deviate from the minimum prescribed sentences of life.

One of the men wept in the dock after hearing his fate.

Members of the men’s families in the gallery also cried.