Four men in KwaZulu-Natal are likely to spend the rest of their days behind bars after being sentenced to life in prison for the killing of Amos Xulu, a 76-year-old businessman and an additional 53 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances.

The matter was concluded at the Ulundi Regional Court.

According to the South African Police Service (SAPS) in the province, Saziso Sphelele Buthelezi (28), Sandile Xulu (22), Gadokwakhe Buthelezi (28) and Makhosonke Nyawo (34) attacked a traditional healer at Ndinde Reserve, stabbing him multiple times on his thighs and robbing him of cash, his firearm and cellphones.

A little more than a week after the incident, the men then attacked Xulu at his home, where he had been running a spaza shop at Nkonjeni Reserve.

“The accused demanded cash, shot and killed Xulu. They also assaulted family members and fled. A case of murder and robbery was opened for investigation,” said SAPS spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele.

Suspect found with victim’s firearm

Law enforcement then got the ball rolling in the investigation and it was not too long before they made a breakthrough in the case, arresting Buthelezi, in Esikhaleni near Empangeni.

“…another accused were arrested at Ulundi and the other accused was arrested inside a minibus taxi on the R66 highway in Melmoth. These men were arrested for murder and were positively linked to the robbery that occurred earlier that month,” Mbhele said.

The accused were kept in custody throughout the entire trial while the investigation to link them to other cases was continuing. They were sentenced to life imprisonment for murder, 30 years imprisonment for robbery with aggravating circumstances.

“Gadokwakhe who was found with the traditional leader’ firearm was further sentenced to 23 years imprisonment for illegal possession of firearm and ammunition”

The Acting KZN Provincial Commissioner, Major General Thulani Gonya has lauded the investigating officers for sending well-investigated dockets to court which led to the successful prosecution.

Meanwhile in the North West, a 16-year-old boy has been remanded in custody, in connection with the murder of a four-year-old girl.

 The girl, who had been reported missing, had last been seen with a man Boitumelong Location. She had vanished from her parent’s home, where she had been playing outside. While it remains unclear whether the boy was the one who was seen with the girl, he is said to have confided in a pastor about killing her.

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Presh JM Reporter

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