Picture: Pixabay
Picture: Pixabay

Trio in jail for other crimes also sentenced over granny’s murder

By Robin-Lee Francke Time of article published Apr 29, 2021

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Cape Town - Six years since the murder of an Eastern Cape grandmother, the four people accused of the crime have been sentenced.

Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu said in a statement that the accused were convicted and sentenced for murdering 78-year-old Denise Webber in her home in Needham Street in Kunene Park, Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth).

According to Naidu, on August 20, 2015, the 37-year-old domestic worker at the scene of the crime was overpowered by three men, one of whom she recognised. She was taken into the house and tied up.

Webber, who lived in the granny flat on the premises, was strangled to death.

The main house and the granny flat were ransacked and household items and jewellery were stolen.

One of the accused, Fikile Mengo, 25, worked on the property as an assistant to the domestic worker and was pregnant at the time of the crime. Naidu said the accused in the matter fled the home in a rented Toyota Etios.

The investigation revealed that the accused were Mengo’s friends, and once they learnt that she was working at the home, they conspired to rob the owners.

After the incident, Mengo went on the run, but her grandmother handed her over to the police in Kabega Park on August 28, 2015.

Her accomplices, Mkhuseli Ngqanda, 34, Sinethemba Nenembe, 33, and Thanduxolo Vumazonke, 29, were arrested three days later.

The group were all incarcerated until procedures had been finalised.

Naidu said most of the stolen property was recovered in the homes of the accused in New Brighton and Kwazakele.

She said three of the four accused are serving sentences for previous crimes.

Nenembe is also serving a life sentence for the murder of schoolteacher Jayde Panayiotou, who was murdered in April 2015.

Naidu said the Port Elizabeth High Court on Wednesday sentenced Mengo to 25 years’ imprisonment for murder and aggravated robbery.

Ngqanda was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder and 15 years for aggravated robbery. The robbery sentence will run concurrently with the life sentence.

Vumazonke was sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment for murder and aggravated robbery, while Nenembe was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder and 15 years for aggravated robbery. The robbery sentence will run concurrently with the murder sentence.

Provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Liziwe Ntshinga welcomed the sentencing of the four accused and said justice had been served.

Ntshinga said it was clear the accused showed no remorse for their crimes, and although it took six years to finalise, the family of the deceased could now find justice.

“Their heinous deeds were intentional and we commend the prosecuting authority for ensuring that they are removed from society for a very long time,” Ntshinga said.

African News Agency (ANA)

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