RESIDENTS of KwaMashu in Durban are calling for "tough and harsh sentencing" of the township's alleged dangerous and notorious criminal.
Sphamandla Mzizi, 24, of L-section, is currently on trial for the alleged murder of nine people and the shooting of four others in the area and at nearby Inanda and Lindelani townships. Mzizi allegedly killed the nine people in cold blood in separate incidents since 2004.
He was arrested in August last year after he allegedly murdered the Ntuli brothers of Inanda.
KwaMashu was recently dubbed South Africa's murder capital after the release of crime statistics by Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa.
When he was arrested, Mzizi was allegedly found with an unlicensed firearm that was apparently linked to the shooting of the 13 people.
Shortly after his arrest, members of public and families of the victims came forward with information about how Mzizi had terrorised them and the community but had never been arrested.
Yesterday emotions ran high and there were tears as Smangele Nzimande told the Scottburgh high court how Mzizi had shot her son Mfundo and his friend Sibusiso Dladla in cold blood in November 2007.
"Mfundo was on his way to the shops when I heard people arguing outside. I went out to investigate. As I approached the gate, I saw the accused pull out a gun and shoot Sibusiso. My son tried to flee, but the accused chased him and shot him dead too," she said.
Nzimande said she was very disappointed at the way the case had been handled by the police.
"For almost two years I did not hear anything about progress in this case until my son's killer had killed more people. If it were not for the death of the Ntuli brothers, my son's killer would not have been arrested," she sobbed.
Mzizi's unlicensed firearm has also been linked to the shooting of two men at Richmond Farm near Inanda in 2007. He had allegedly robbed a woman of her cellphone. When the victims confronted Mzizi about the phone, he opened fire on them.
The families of the victims have called for life imprisonment in all the cases. They say it is through incidents like these that the country must consider bringing back the death sentence.