Three Eastern Cape drug dealers were sentenced to four life terms plus 60 years each in the Mthatha High Court. File photo
Three Eastern Cape drug dealers were sentenced to four life terms plus 60 years each in the Mthatha High Court. File photo

Drug dealers sentenced to four life terms plus 60 years in prison

By Robin-Lee Francke Time of article published Nov 4, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - The Mthatha High Court has sentenced three drug dealers to life imprisonment plus 60 years each.

Siphiwe Jula, 35, Msizi Mncwane, 34, and Zamuxolo Shusha, 25, were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for four counts of murder, 20 years each for two counts of attempted murder, and 20 years each for unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.

The court ordered the four life terms to run concurrently.

On November 13, 2019, the trio shot and killed Bulelani Miya, Mongezi Msomi, Inga Nzimakhwe and Amahle Sophila at Plangeni village near Mzamba in the district of Mbizana. The victims were aged between 22 and 30.

Phakamani Msomi and Sinawo Miya survived the attack but were both left paralysed after sustaining eight gunshot wounds each.

In court, evidence presented revealed Jula was dealing in drugs in the Mzamba and Port Edward areas. Mncwane and Shusha were selling drugs for him.

The court heard that during October 2019, Jula gave Miya drugs to sell on his behalf. After selling the drugs, Miya never gave Jula the money made from the drug sales.

Jula, along with his co-accused hunted down Miya and found him in the company of the three who were killed, and the surviving victims.

The trio kicked down the door and shot at the man before fleeing the scene.

According to the provincial spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority, Luxolo Tyali, a witness in the area managed to take down the vehicle registration after the trio sped off.

“Police found more than 30 spent bullet cartridges at the scene. The vehicle was traced and found in the possession of its owner, who was Jula’s girlfriend at the time. She testified in court that she had lent the vehicle to Jula on the day in question,” Tyali said.

Presiding Judge Richard Brooks stated that a lengthy jail terms was a fitting sentence for the crimes committed.

After sentencing, the trio filed a leave to appeal application which the prosecutor successfully opposed.

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