Njabulo Ngubane was today sentenced to life imprisonment for the killing of Sakhumzi’s Restaurant manager Kwesi Hudson at the South Gauteng High Court.
In an odd turn of events, Ngubane questioned the court’s competence and requested that the matter be transferred to the North Gauteng High Court as he believed he would be handed down a fair sentence.
He then walked out of the courtroom and into the holding cells when Judge Ramarumo Monama told him that no other court would come to a different finding.
Ngubane was sentenced to life imprisonment in absentia for Hudson’s murder.
In addition, he was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for the January 2017 robbery and 15 years for the November 2016 also at Sakhumzi’s. He also received 10 years for being in possession of an unlicensed firearm and 3 years for illegal possession of ammunition.
Ngubane and his co-accused Mduduzi Ngcobo robbed Sakhumzi’s Restaurant of an undisclosed amount of money after they gained entry as the establishment was cashing up for the day in January 2017.
Hudson was gunned down after he refused the pair entry into the establishment, saying the restaurant was closed. Ngubane then shot the 60-year-old several times before fleeing the scene.
“The evidence placed before the court indicated that the robberies carried out in November (2016) and January (2017) were planned and carried out brazenly and callously,” Judge Monama said.
Monama said he failed to detect remorse in the Ngubane during court proceedings.
“Even during mitigation, his counsel –correctly so – did not attempt to say he was remorseful. He has not assumed the responsibility for his actions,” Monama said.
Hudson’s widow, Xoliswa Hudson spoke to the Sowetan moments after the sentencing and said she was happy with the outcome.
“I am pleased with the judgment. The guy (Ngubane) didn’t show any remorse during the case for what he has done. I know it’s not going to bring back my husband but I am happy,” she said. “I am still crying until now because my husband was everything to me.”
Meanwhile, the Gauteng MEC for Community Safety Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane said she welcomed the sentence that was handed down on Ngubane.
“This sentence has restored the faith that we have in the criminal justice system and I think that we need to mention that the investigating officer worked tirelessly to ensure that the Hudson family received closure,” Nkosi-Malobane said.
Ngubane’s co-accused Mduduzi Ngcobo‚ 21‚ appeared at the Orlando Magistrate’s Court facing charges of armed robbery and possession of an unlicensed firearm.
His case was postponed to June 6 to allow the defense time to view video footage from the crime scene.