Two hitmen to spend life in prison for killing taxi owners in Nongoma

DURBAN – The Pietermaritzburg High Court sentenced Makhimba Buthelezi (33) and Thabani Ngwenya (36) to two terms life imprisonment each for murder and 14 years imprisonment for charges of attempted murder. Buthelezi was also sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for unlawful possession of firearm and two years for possession of ammunition. They were sentenced on Friday, 25 March 2022. The sentences will run concurrently.

On 19 December 2016, at 20:30, Mzokhona Dlame (47) was at his homestead where a traditional ceremony was held. While at his homestead, two armed men showed up and fired shots at him. He sustained gunshot wounds to the head, neck and thigh. He was declared dead at the scene. The other taxi owner that was with the victim managed to escape unharmed. Charges of murder and attempted murder were opened for investigation at Nongoma SAPS.

During August 2018, Buthelezi was arrested at Maphophoma area in Nongoma. He was found in possession of a firearm with nine rounds of ammunition. Ngwenya was arrested in Benoni when he attended another case where he was arrested for unlawful possession of firearm. Both accused were tried in court. During the investigation, it was established that both accused are also linked to another case of murder and attempted murder that occurred at Nongoma in 2017.

On 17 October 2017, Mthuthuzeli Mchunu (66) was standing next to his vehicle near a service station when two armed men emerged. They opened fire at him and he sustained injuries to the head and chest. He was taken to hospital where he was declared dead on arrival. A bystander was shot in the leg and was also taken to hospital. Mchunu was a taxi owner and the chairperson of the Nongoma taxi association.

Source: South African Police Service

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