Durban – A 22-year-old man has been sentenced to six life terms for murder and 12 years for armed robbery after he was convicted of killing a woman and her five children in Inanda, Durban, police said on Friday.

Captain Nqobile Gwala said Tsepang Mokhali was sentenced by the Durban High Court on Tuesday for the crimes, which he committed in December 2012.

Gwala said the woman and her children’s bodies were discovered in their house after her husband failed to reach her on the phone several times.

“The wife Nobuhle Leneha (38) and her children Khalalelo (14), Tumelo (9), Karabo (7), Takiso Bobora (03), were killed and the bodies of the children were found in the bathroom while Lenehas’s body was found in the lounge,” Gwala said.

“Leneha sustained gunshot wounds while her children sustained multiple stab wounds to the body. The 14-month-old baby that survived the attack was found dehydrated inside the house.”

Gwala said police were immediately alerted to the scene and upon investigation it was discovered that money and Leneha’s cellphone had been stolen.

She said investigations by Inanda detectives led to Mokhali’s arrest in December 2013.

“Mokhali escaped after the incident to Lesotho and was on the run since then. Intelligence driven information was received that he was returning to South Africa and was arrested at the Lesotho border in December 2013 with the assistance of Magma Security,” Gwala said.

“It appeared that Mokhali was Leneha’s nephew. During the court proceedings it appeared that the motive for the killing was to get the money that Nobuhle got from the stokvel.”

KwaZulu-Natal acting provincial commissioner, Major General Bheki praised the investigating team and all other role-players for the hard work and determination to solve the case.