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By Dudu Dube | Mar 16, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

HEIA Safari Zulu dancer Celiwe Mbokazi has been sentenced to life imprisonment for killing her husband, who was also the resort's owner.

HEIA Safari Zulu dancer Celiwe Mbokazi has been sentenced to life imprisonment for killing her husband, who was also the resort's owner.

And she shed no tears when sentence was handed down yesterday.

Three people found guilty with her last week were also given a life sentence each by the Johannesburg high court yesterday.

Judge Piet Meyer said Mbokazi had shown no remorse throughout the trial and that he was convinced that she stood to benefit from the death of Franz Richter.

Richter was killed in November 2007 outside his property in Muldersdrift, Gauteng.

Mbokazi, now 39, offered the three men R10000 to shoot Richter and make it look like a robbery.

Also sentenced yesterday were Johnson Chirwa, Dumisani Xulu and Gilbert Mosadi.

All four were given a further 15 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances, which will run concurrently with their life sentences.

"Not one of the accused has shown any remorse whatsoever, which makes their individual prognosis towards rehabilitation negative and a mere speculative possibility," said the judge.

"She did not pull the trigger but her role cannot in my judgment be said to be minimal. On the contrary, it was of key and great importance. Her participation was at best for her no less reprehensible than that of the other."

At the time of the murder, Mbokazi was pregnant with another man's child and was aware that Richter had included her as a beneficiary in his will.

"The inevitable inference is that the deceased's rejection of her or her ongoing relationship with Ronnie Khumalo, or both, motivated her to attempt at securing her inheritance by means of the criminal conduct for which she was convicted," said the judge.

"The evidence points rather to the deceased having been a good and kind person. Her case is not one of a wife driven to desperation and seeing no other solution such as divorce."

Khumalo was originally an accused but was acquitted due to lack of evidence against him.

Mbokazi stood to benefit:

l R1million trust fund that was to take care of her needs.

l Richter's house situated at Heia Safari, with the estate bearing all maintenance costs, levies and rates.

l Custody of their three adopted children who inherited R500000 from the estate.

l She would have unlimited access to Heia Safari Hotel and continue to receive free daily meals and beverages from the hotel.

Mbokazi met Richter in 1988 when he came to her rural village in KwaZulu-Natal to recruit her and several other youngsters to work as Zulu dancers at the resort.

A year later, when she was 15 years old and Richter in his 50s, they started a sexual relationship. They eventually married traditionally.


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