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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Durban truck driver killers sentenced to life in jail

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Two men responsible for the murder of Coca-Cola truck driver Sabelo Nxumalo have been sentenced to life in jail following their conviction on Thursday. The accused persons, Sbongiseni Maphumulo, 25, and Thobani Mabaso, 32, stabbed and killed the victim for his cellphone and Nike backpack.

Nxumalo’s family welcomed the life sentence handed to the two men convicted for killing him.

The two committed the murder at Dube Village Mall in Inanda with one other suspect still at large.

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Nxumalo had been seated alone in the truck waiting for his brother, Welcome Khuzwayo, who had gone inside Shoprite for an invoice when Maphumulo entered from the passenger’s side and stabbed him. This was while Mabaso and another stood by the driver’s door preventing Nxumalo’s escape.

The father of four was robbed of his cellphone and Nike backpack and within two hours after the murder, the items were already sold.

The two men had pleaded not guilty with the defence that the crime was carried out to get money to support their whoonga addiction.

Nxumalo’s fiancée Nompulelo Dlomo said the family was satisfied with the sentence handed down as the accused got what they deserved.

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Read | Crossborder trucker brutally killed by copper thieves

“Even though it will not bring him back, the sentence is what we had been hoping for. Even though it will not heal our hearts, we have seen through this case that the justice system is for the people because we had no faith in the justice system after seeing many let down by it, but at least it was fair to us and we saw the law run its course.”

She went on to say that the family was still struggling to cope with their loss, especially the children.

“They will grow up without their father, he can no longer look after them and support them emotionally and financially. We are not coping, and nothing can fill the void created when he died but we trust in God.”

In aggravation of sentence, State prosecutor Kaystree Ramsamujh, a state witness, told the court they had seen the three previously loitering in the area where the crime took place.

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“They were staking the area … They could have stood outside the truck and demanded his belongings … The murder took place to achieve the robbery and within two hours the stolen items were sold, probably while the deceased was still fighting for his life.”

In the sentence, magistrate E La Grange said she agreed that this crime was well planned and executed.

“They waited till the witness left and the deceased was alone, not knowing he would be accosted. According to the accused, the murder was never intended and was an accident, but the accused armed themselves with knives. This heinous action was planned … they planned and went armed and killed.”

She added that the court felt Mabaso could not be rehabilitated as this was not his first run-in with the law, having had four previous convictions.

“He had four opportunities for this. Both accused professed their innocence from the beginning of the trial, they tried to distance themselves from the incident and the selling of the items. The court feels nothing keeps it from deviating from the minimum sentence.” – Daily News

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