File photo

Pietermaritzburg - While police still search for the mastermind behind the murder of a Pietermaritzburg taxi boss, the men he hired to carry out the hit were sentenced to life imprisonment on Monday.

Kwenza Gwala, 21, and Lindelani Mathonsi, 24, murdered Imbali taxi boss Johannes Tshoba on May 10, 2011.

Pietermaritzburg High Court Judge David Ntshangase said it was clear that both men had not taken responsibility for their actions, and were incapable of rehabilitation.

Mathonsi was sentenced to a further 25 years for the murder of Tshoba’s common-law wife, Ntombenhle Ndlovu.

The man who masterminded the attack, Stanley Mkhize, 46, skipped his bail and is believed to have fled to Zimbabwe. Police are trying to trace him.

According to the evidence presented in court, Tshoba had hired one Kwazi Mkhize as a driver and then dismissed him for drunk driving.

During April 2011, Stanley Mkhize became suspicious that Tshoba was having an affair with his girlfriend. He approached Kwazi Mkhize, who had knowledge of Tshoba’s movements, as well as Gwala and Mathonsi, to execute the taxi boss. He apparently promised them a Mazda 323 car as payment for the murder.

The gang of hired guns stalked Tshoba between April and May 2011 and tried on numerous occasions to kill him, but failed.

Then, on the morning of May 10, 2011, the assailants shot Tshoba outside his home while he was sitting in his vehicle. Mathonsi also shot Ndlovu, who was standing outside the house.

Tshoba died on the scene, while Ndlovu died in hospital three days later.

Ntshangase said it was alarming that human life was regarded so cheaply that one could be killed for an old Mazda vehicle.

Daily News