Funokwakhe Birthwell Ncube and Sakhile Enock Ncama were sentenced to 25 years imprisonment in the Pietermaritzburg High Court
Funokwakhe Birthwell Ncube and Sakhile Enock Ncama were sentenced to 25 years imprisonment in the Pietermaritzburg High Court

Friends sentenced after farm worker’s bloodied body found dumped in Paddock sugarcane field

By Se-Anne Rall Time of article published Sep 9, 2021

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TWO men who murdered a 49-year-old farm worker in April this year have been sentenced for their crimes.

Twenty-five-year-old Funokwakhe Birthwell Ncube and Sakhile Enock Ncama (24) were sentenced to 25 years imprisonment in the Pietermaritzburg High Court after they pleaded guilty to the robbery and murder of Madoda Mndiyata in the Paddock area of Port Shepstone.

NPA spokesperson in KwaZulu-Natal, Natasha Kara, said they were sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for robbery and 25 years imprisonment for murder.

"Since the sentences run concurrently, their effective sentence is 25 years imprisonment," Kara explained.

Mndiyata worked on the Burntwood Farm in Paddock. Kara said Ncube and Ncama lived near the farm.

The men said they met the deceased at a local tuck-shop where they drank beers together.

"Upon leaving, they decided to take a shortcut through the farm on which Mndiyata worked.

“They met him in the sugarcane field and he asked them who they were. After an exchange of words, he started to beat them with his knobkerrie. Ncube then took out a knife from his bag and stabbed Mndiyata several times on his body while Ncama assaulted him," Kara said.

She said Mndiyata eventually collapsed and Ncube continued to stab him until he lost consciousness.

"They then stole his tracksuit pants, shoes and knobkerrie and fled the scene. However, the knife used by Ncube broke during the attack and a piece was left behind at the scene.

They were arrested after people who had seen them at the tuck-shop realised they had left the tuck-shop around the time that the deceased was killed," she said.

She said the people also claimed to have seen Ncube with the knife at the tuck-shop, prior to the incident.

Upon arrest, the knife with the missing piece was found in Ncube’s possession.

"In aggravation of sentence, the Senior State Advocate, Mbongeni Mthembu handed in a Victim Impact Statement facilitated by the Court Preparation Officer, Beaufort Shinga and compiled by Mndiyata’s mother.

"In her statement, his mother said that her son was their breadwinner and he brought happiness to their home. Their house is no longer a happy place. There is no peace as Mndiyata’s death has impacted on their entire family. She said that she would never wish her experience of losing a child to any other woman," Kara said.

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