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Pretoria - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on Monday welcomed the effective 15-year imprisonment of Zuko Mdingi, 28, for the murder and robbery of his employer following a salary dispute.  

NPA Eastern Cape spokesperson Luxolo Tyali said the Tsomo Regional Court sentenced Mdingi to 15 years for murder, 10 years on a charge of robbery with aggravating circumstances and five years for theft.  

"Evidence presented in court is that Mdingi was employed as a livestock herder and caretaker at a property belonging to the deceased, Xolisa Makalima, 49, who stayed in another property of hers at the same village of Mbeveni in Mthwaku area in the district of Ngqamakwe," said Tyali.

"On the evening of 27 May 2018, Mdingi went to where Makalima stayed to get his salary but she told him she did not have the money. It is then that Mdingi drew a knife and stabbed the woman before strangling her with a rope.  Thereafter, he took her car keys, three cell phones, R60 in cash and clothes belonging to her son."

Mdingi left for his hometown of Mbizana, where he was arrested, following the discovery of Makalima's body. 

"The cell phones he had stolen were recovered from him, with conversations between him and a sangoma on Whatsapp. In the messages, he disclosed how he killed the deceased and was asking the sangoma to help him evade arrest," said Tyali.

"The killer initially pleaded not guilty, but changed his plea to that of guilty when he was confronted with the overwhelming and incriminating evidence by prosecutor Ayanda Nkumanda."

The court ordered that Mdingi's sentences for the different crimes would run concurrently.

African News Agency (ANA)