Four life sentences for uncle who killed nieces and nephews
A man convicted of the bloody slaying of four of his sister’s children and slicing off their left ears has been sentenced to four life terms behind bars.
32-year-old Ben Zimele Mbhele had tendered a guilty plea following his arrest three weeks ago.
In September last year‚ the bodies of four children aged between four and 12 years were found at their homestead near Ncukeni on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast‚.
Three of the bloodied bodies were found inside the home while the fourth had been dragged into the garden.
The jarring hallmark of the massacre was the haphazard removal of the left ear of each child.
Police made a breakthrough in the case last month with the arrest of their uncle‚ Mbhele‚ and his friend‚ 48-year-old Sibongiseni Nyawose. Charges against Nyawose were later withdrawn.
The South Coast Herald reported last month that a family spokesman had said Mbhele had confessed to the killings.
He initially told them that the children were haunting him and that it was a satanic act. However‚ they later found out that insurance policies had been taken out on the children.
KZN acting police commissioner Bheki Langa welcomed the sentence handed to the accused. “This sentence will also serve as a warning to other criminals who think they will get away after committing crimes. We hope this sentence will bring closure to the family‚” he said.