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Khensani's killers guilty

By unknown | Mar 04, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

Three men who killed Soweto's baby Khensani and an elderly woman during an armed robbery in the city centre have been found guilty of murder and robbery by the Johannesburg high court.

Menzi Hlongwa, 20, Siphamandla Sigidi Gasela, 22, and Phikani Sibongiseni Ngidi, 24, were accused of murder, attempted murder, robbery and possessing illegal firearms and ammunition after a robbery in Johannesburg in October 2006. The verdict was delivered yesterday.

Fifteen-month-old Khensani Mitileni was shot dead while strapped to her mother's back during the shootout.

Another victim, Sindisiwe Zuma, died five months later of gunshot wounds.

About nine people were also hit by stray bullets following the shootout between Coin Security guards and the robbers.

Reading his judgment yesterday, Judge Nigel Willis said the accused told the court that they had an alibi as their defence but none of them called their witnesses.

Before he handed down his judgment, both the state and defence counsel submitted their written arguments.

The defence asked the judge to disregard the informer's evidence because he was "coached to testify".

"His motive for lying against the accused was the money that he received from the police," the defence statement read.

Judge Willis said he had no reason to doubt the informer's evidence and described him as an "excellent witness".

"I find all three accused guilty on all 14 counts," the judge said.

Speaking to Sowetan at the court Khensani's mother, Cynthia Mitileni said: "I am happy that someone was found guilty for killing my baby."

Sentence will be passed today.


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