'Ruthless and barbaric killers' jailed for life in the Eastern Cape

Two men who brutally shot and killed a 61-year-old Eastern Cape woman and her son in 2015 have each been handed double life sentences.
Two men who brutally shot and killed a 61-year-old Eastern Cape woman and her son in 2015 have each been handed double life sentences.
Image: Allan Swart/123RF

Two of the four men who shot and killed a 61-year-old woman and her son in NU 13, Mdantsane, in the Eastern Cape in 2015 have each been handed double life sentences.

Nonkululeko Swartbooi was gunned down in her home in front of her autistic 26-year-old son Wola.

Luthando Kondile, 30, and Hlumani Baleka, 22, also killed her other son, Libona "Jigga" Swartbooi, 23, after the attack.

They were found guilty earlier in September.

Lindokuhle Makawula, 21, was also arrested for the attacks. During sentencing on Monday, judge Feziwe Rengqe described the men as "ruthless and barbaric killers".

Libona was kidnapped by the three between April 20 and 26 in 2015, and taken to the NU 15 soccer grounds, where they tied him up with shoelaces and took the keys to his home.

The gang then went to the home he shared with his mother and brother, shot and killed Nonkululeko, and ransacked the house.

They then returned to the NU 15 soccer grounds and killed Libona before making their escape in his mother's Nissan Almera with two plasma TVs, her gun, a home theatre system, a PlayStation, a cellphone and clothing.

Nonkululeko's body was found after neighbours thought it odd that her garage door and gate were left open for days.

Because Makawula was under 18 at the time of the murders, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison for each of the two murders.

These sentences will run consecutively, meaning he will spend 50 years in prison.

The men were also convicted of other crimes, including kidnapping, illegal possession of a semi-automatic firearm and ammunition, and housebreaking with intent to commit a robbery.

Kondile and Baleka were further sentenced to 15 years each for robbery, five years each for housebreaking with intent to rob, five years for kidnapping, three years for possession of a semi-automatic firearm, and two years for illegal possession of ammunition.

Rengqe said all the other sentences could run concurrently.

Makawula was also sentenced to 10 years each for the two robbery counts, five years for housebreaking, five years for kidnapping, three years for possession of a firearm and two years for the possession of illegal ammunition.

Their accomplice, Chuma Metele, is already serving an 18-year sentence after he pleaded guilty to the offences and turned state witness in 2018.

- HeraldLIVE


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