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Youth gets 20 years for killing employer

By unknown | Mar 30, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

A 19-year-old, who murdered his elderly employer in an argument over money, will spend the next 20 years in prison.

A 19-year-old, who murdered his elderly employer in an argument over money, will spend the next 20 years in prison.

Pietermaritzburg high court judge Kate Pillay, pictured, said this type of violence happened far too often. Every day, the courts dealt with people who attacked the elderly over issues which could be resolved in other ways.

The victim, Russel Howden, 69, of Greytown, who had been recovering after a hip replacement, was shot dead by Bongani Hadebe, who had worked for him for three years. Howden's body lay in his home, undiscovered, for four days.

Hadebe had taken Howden's two vehicles, and police had become suspicious when they saw them being driven around. Police broke into his house and found Howden's body.

Hadebe had driven one of Howden's vehicles to his parents' home near Dundee and later returned and drove the second one away.

Pleading guilty to murder, theft of the vehicles, and other items, and unlawful possession of Howden's handguns, Hadebe said that in September last year he and Howden had argued because Howden refused to pay him his full salary, and accused him of stealing.

Hadebe said: "He swore at me and picked up a stick. I grabbed it and we struggled for it, hitting each other. He drew a revolver and tried to shoot me.

"I took it from him and fired two shots, which struck him in the head. I was scared and had to get away."

Pillay sentenced him to 15 years for murder, 10 years for theft, three for illegal possession of firearms and one year for unlawful possession of ammunition.

Five years of the 10-year sentence for theft will run concurrently with the murder sentence.

The weapons and ammunition sentences will run concurrently with the five years for theft, making the sentence 20 years effectively.

Pillay said because Hadebe returned after stealing one vehicle showed his lack of remorse at the time. - Sapa


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