Picture: succo/Pixabay

Johannesburg - A taxi industry hitman has failed in his court bid to get a reduction of his 40-year jail sentence. 

Phiwayenkosi Ngcamu, who pumped 11 bullets into a taxi driver over a Roodepoort route dispute in 2016, sought leave to appeal his sentence and the South Gauteng High Court heard his application on Tuesday.

The sentence was for counts including murder and the illegal possession of two semi-automatic and ammunition. 

Advocate L Lekgothoane, representing the hitman, told the court that the application was premised on the grounds that the 40-year sentence was too harsh. 

Lekgothoane wanted the sentence that was handed down last year declared harsh because Ngcamu pleaded guilty. 

"This 40 years is harsh. At least 30 would be understandable," said Lekgothoane. 

"The 40 years is too harsh for a person who came clean to the court. There's a difference between him and those who came and wasted the court's time. 

"Another court can come with a different sentence," she added. 

Three of Ngcamu's accomplices pleaded not guilty during the trial and were sentenced to life Imprisonment. 

The State opposed the application. Advocate David Mothibe, the prosecutor, reminded the court that Ngcamu was caught in possession of the firearms he used in the attack. 

"I think the sentence was fair," Mothibe said. 

Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng dismissed the leave to appeal application. 

Ngcamu was compelled by the facts of the case to plead guilty, said Mokgoatlheng. 

"He had no option."

The Judge said he jailed Ngcamu for 40 years and not life exactly on the ground that he pleaded guilty. 

"In this case I was very accommodative. This gentleman is a professional hired killer used by any taxi association. 

"They pay him. Then he goes out to kill you," said Judge Mokgoatlheng. "He was a hired killer."

The taxi driver Ngcamu shot 11 times and killed did not deserve what befell him. 

"This was a hit. He was a hired killed," said the judge. 

"He went to a married man and pumped 11 bullets. This man had a right to ply (his trade) in the route. He was killed in cold blood."


The Star