Airport security who shot his supervisor dead over lunch break times jailed for life

By Jolene Marriah Time of article published Feb 27, 2020

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Durban - A Durban man who murdered his supervisor because he was reprimanded for returning late from his lunch break has been jailed for life. 

Sphelele Mdletshe was sentenced in the Durban High Court on Wednesday. 

He murdered his supervisor Zandile Cornelia Mkhize at the King Shaka International Airport in March 2018.

Mdletshe and Mkhize worked as security officers for an airport-based security company. 

On the day of the offence, he was late to return from his break. Mkhize contacted their manager and reported this.

According to Natasha Kara- Ramkisson spokesperson from the NPA,  when Mdletshe returned to his post, he was requested to go home and come back the next day to discuss the issue. 

"This angered him. He went home, fetched his personal firearm and returned to work. Knowing that Mkhize had finished her shift, he went to the area where she waited for her transport and shot her several times. 

"Mdletshe fired 14 shots, emptying the firearm cartridge, with 11 of these shots striking her. He then walked to the police station and handed over his firearm.

"In court, he denied handing over the firearm, saying that the police stopped him and took the firearm from him," said Kara- Ramkisson. 

State Advocate, Khatija Essack led video footage from a camera fixed in the area where Mkhize was shot. This clearly showed Mdletshe as the shooter. 

Essack also led ballistic evidence linking his firearm to the killing.

In aggravation of sentence, a victim impact statement compiled by the deceased’s son and facilitated by Court Preparation Officer, Nadi Ngcobo was submitted to the court. In the statement, the 23-year-old mentions that his mother’s death was traumatic for him and his seven year-old sister. He said their mother was a single parent and the breadwinner in their home. He said that his dream to work and take care of his mother would never be fulfilled.

The Director of Public Prosecutions in Kwa-Zulu Natal, Advocate Elaine Zungu welcomes the sentence and conviction in this matter. 

“The accused’s actions were senseless and unwarranted. Congratulations to the prosecutor on securing this conviction.”


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