The man accused of killing the sister of Pretoria News editor Zingisa Mkhuma has been found guilty of murder.
Joseph Tefo Khoza, 37, a hijacker, killed his girlfriend Phelisa Mkhuma on June 15.
Her body was found in the veld wrapped in a blanket near New Canada railway station outside Soweto. She had a bullet wound in the chest.
Johannesburg high court Judge Mojake Mabesele found Khoza guilty of murder, possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.
He sentenced him to 18 years imprisonment for the crimes.
Khoza was sentenced to 15 years for murder and three years for the firearm and ammunition possession charge.
Khoza admitted a previous conviction of hijacking.
Zingisa told Sowetan yesterday that the family was relieved that Khoza was convicted to pay for what he did.
"If he was not convicted we would have doubts at the back of our minds as to what happened. His conviction will bring closure," she said.
She said though Khoza denied the family an opportunity to know why he killed Phelisa, the fact that he was found guilty showed he did it.
She said the conviction brought a cold realisation that her sister would not be coming back.
"But at least one more murderer is off our streets," she said.
Mkhuma is survived by two daughters, aged 13 and 5.
Khoza's lawyer Owen Khumalo told the court he would appeal the conviction.
The appeal hearing was set for today.
Prosecutor Deon Barnard said it was a difficult case but was glad that Khoza was convicted.