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2 men get 20 years each for murdering friend, selling his car for brandy

A night at a pub in Mpumalanga with friends almost two years ago turned to horror for 38-year-old Lucky Bongani Kutumela.

Kutumela had been with Zakhele Sihlangu, 32, and Sibusiso Frans Mzangwa, 34, at the pub until late one night in May 2019.

They all went home in Kutumela’s car but he was told to stop the car as they needed to relieve themselves.

“Instead, they got out of the vehicle, pinned him to the ground and strangled him to death. They left his lifeless body in bushes in Mountainview, KwaMhlanga,” said Mpumalanga National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Monica Nyuswa.

The next day, they sold his Volkswagen Citi Golf and bought brandy with the money.

When they heard Kutumela’s family was looking for him, they handed themselves to the police, confessed and later pleaded guilty to murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Nyuswa said prosecutor Mmamphai Tshwane asked the court to impose life sentences.

However, the High Court sitting in Middelburg took into consideration that both Sihlangu and Mzangwa showed remorse and were first-time offenders.

They were sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment each for murder and 10 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances, to run concurrently.

The NPA welcomed the conviction and sentence.


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