Sibonakaliso Mbili, the traditional healer at whose behest four people acted when they killed Chatsworth mother Desiree Murugan in 2014, has been sentenced to life in prison.
Judge Thoba Poyo-Dlwati handed down sentencing in the Durban High Court on Wednesday.
Spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority Natasha Kara said in a statement that the judge gave Mbili’s co-accused, Jimmy Stanley Thelejala and Mlungisi Ndlovu 15-year jail terms.
A third accused, Mbali Magwala, got 12 years behind bars.
In January, the judge found the four guilty of Murugan’s murder.
Another accused, Falakhe Khumalo, had already pleaded guilty and is currently serving life in prison.
The judge found that Thelejala, Ndlovu and Magwala – all minors at the time – lured Murugan to a Shallcross sports ground, where she was stabbed 192 times and then beheaded.
This after Mbili had promised Khumalo R2 million for the head of an Indian, white or coloured woman.
Thelejala and Ndlovu helped Khumalo kill and decapitate Murugan, while Magwala assisted in selecting her as a victim and washed her head in a bucket after she was murdered.
In aggravation of sentence, senior State advocate Sheryl Naidu led the testimony of Murugan’s sister, who described her as a good and kind person who did not deserve to die in such a horrific and barbaric fashion.
The Director of Public Prosecutions in KwaZulu-Natal, Moipone Noko welcomed the sentence.
“Hopefully the scourge of muthi killings in the province will be positively impacted by sentences of this nature. Congratulations to the prosecutor on a job well done,” she said.