ICYMI: 190 years for whoonga massacre
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Durban - A 24-year-old man was sentenced in the Pietermaritzburg High Court to 190 years in prison for the Hammarsdale massacre where six people were murdered in a suspected drug turf feud.
Sisanda “Chocolate” Mvinjana confessed on Thursday to the execution-style murders of Siyanda Kubheka, 26, Sphamandla Mavundla, 27, Sphelele Kubheka, 37, Mcebisi Godwe, 29, Hlengiwe Kubheka, 20, and Nonhlanhla Mbhele, 22.
They were gunned down at a homestead in Georgedale near Hammarsdale on January 20.
After being collared by members of the Provincial Task Team, Mvinjana immediately confessed to the murders and handed over the firearm he had used.
He was charged with six counts of murder and one of attempted murder.
On Friday, he was sentenced to 30 years in prison for each of the six murders and 10 years for attempted murder. The sentences are to run concurrently.
Police are expected to arrest the three remaining suspects soon.
According to his confession, Mvinjana admitted that he used to sell whoonga in the area, but had left the business to his friend, who was only referred to as “Thabani”.
He received information about certain people who were selling whoonga in the area and became angry that someone had taken over the selling of the drug in the territory that now belonged to his friend.
On January 20, Thabani came to Mvinjana’s home with two other men and vented their frustration about this situation and they agreed to put an end to this.
Carrying guns, they proceeded to the house in Georgedale.
They knocked on the door and when somebody opened, they pushed their way through.
When they entered, they were unhappy to find several people inside the house who were smoking the drug, whoonga.
Mvinjana grabbed one of them who was close to him.
“This angered me and I pointed my firearm at him and instructed these people to stop selling whoonga in the area. While doing this, I heard a gunshot go off. At this stage I shot this person that I had grabbed three times. My companions then shot the rest of the people in that room. A total of seven of them were shot by us,” he said.
The only survivor of the shooting was taken to hospital with several gunshot wounds.
Police on the scene found whoonga and dagga and suspected that the killings could be drug-related.
Mvinjana admitted to the court that his actions were intentional, but pleaded with the court to have mercy on him.