Family and friends comfort Dumisani Masilela’s mother Sabatha Masilela after the five men convicted of murdering him were sentenced to life in prison in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Naude African News Agency (ANA)
Family and friends comfort Dumisani Masilela’s mother Sabatha Masilela after the five men convicted of murdering him were sentenced to life in prison in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Naude African News Agency (ANA)

Rhythm City actor Dumisani Masilela’s mother in tears after 5 killers sentenced to life behind bars

By Zelda Venter Time of article published Aug 5, 2021

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Pretoria - The mother of murdered Rhythm City actor Dumisani Masilela broke down in tears after her son’s five killers were each sentenced to life imprisonment yesterday.

Judge Papi Mosopa said the young actor, soccer player and musician was killed in cold blood – and all because of the greed of his killers.

Apart from receiving the ultimate sentence, the five were also sentenced to various jail sentences ranging between 30 and 40 years which included their convictions on a number of other charges where they had hijacked and kidnapped motorists in 2017.

Judge Mosopa said none of the accused showed any remorse for what they had done.

Three of the five had previous convictions and the judge said it did not seem as if they had learnt from their mistakes.

Khumbuzo Solomon Mukhaba, 31, the man said to have pulled the trigger which killed Masilela in February 2017 in Tembisa; and his four co-accused, Sfundo Harrison Nkosi, 34, of Ivory Park; Bongani John Masombuka, 38, of Tembisa; Brian Makhubedu, 28, and Mashudu Malema, 35, also of Ivory Park; all pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The lengthy trial started in 2019 in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, and was marked by trials within a trial as the accused had disputed confessions which they had made to the police.

While Mukhaba was the one who actually shot Masilela on August 2, 2017, the others were convicted of murder on the doctrine of common purpose.

The five men convicted for the murder of Dumisani Masilela were each sentenced to life imprisonment in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Naude African News Agency (ANA)

Masilela was shot in broad daylight while the gang were on a hijacking spree. However, he managed to drive on after he was shot.

He was with a friend Bongani Nkosi at the time.

The two switched places shortly after the shooting and Nkosi drove his friend to hospital. Masilela died the following day. Nkosi also identified Mukhaba as the man who had pulled the trigger.

His co-accused claimed he had acted on a whim of his own and they in fact admired Masilela and did not want to see him dead.

However, he court found each of the accused’s actions contributed to the fact that Masilela was killed.

Masilela’s mother Sabatha Masilela told the court she was so heartbroken by her son’s death she could not resume her teaching job. Masilela visited his mother shortly before his death and told her he and Nkosi were going to Tembisa before returning to her.

The mother said his death had affected his family gravely and one of his siblings was now a drug addict because he did not know how to deal with his brother’s death.

Judge Mosopa said that despite the evidence against them, none of the accused showed the slightest remorse. Mukhaba in fact persisted that he was not guilty and even accused the judge of wrongly applying the law in convicting him.

While the tearful mother was too emotional to speak to the media, Masilela’s uncle, Tumelo Mogase, said knowing the accused were going to jail for life brought some closure.

“We know it will not bring back Dumisani, but at least it brings some closure,” he said.

He added that Mukhaba’s conduct in denying he was the actual killer and the fact that he questioned the verdict pained the family.

“It shows it was all about them. They did not care about anyone else’s feelings,” he said.

Mogase said the family would have wanted the accused to take ownership of their actions. “These are not first-time criminals and we are at least glad society is now rid of them.”

Actor and TV personality Zola Hashatsi was at court to console the family. He expressed his gratitude that his friend’s killers would no longer roam the streets.

Pretoria News

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