Man who wanted sangoma to help him evade arrest gets 15 years for murder

11 November 2019 - 15:35
A livestock herder got 15 years for killing his employer in a salary dispute.
Image: Gallo Images/Thinkstock A livestock herder got 15 years for killing his employer in a salary dispute.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has welcomed a 15-year jail sentence handed to a man who killed his employer after a salary dispute.

When he was arrested after the murder of Xolisa Makalima, 49, police seized a phone belonging to  Zuko Mdingi , 28. On it were records of a conversation Mdingi had with a sangoma on WhatsApp.

Mdingi disclosed in the messages that he had killed a person and asked the sangoma to help him evade arrest.

The Tsomo regional court in Eastern Cape sentenced Mdingi to 15 years for murder, 10 years on a charge of robbery with aggravating circumstances and five years for theft. The court ordered all the sentences to run concurrently with the murder sentence.

Although Mdingi initially pleaded not guilty, he changed his plea to guilty after being confronted with overwhelming and incriminating evidence by prosecutor Ayanda Nkumanda.

Mdingi was employed as a livestock herder and caretaker at a property belonging to Makalima in Mbeveni village in the district of Nqamakwe.

On the evening of May 27 2018, Mdingi went to get his salary but was told the money was not available.

Mdingi drew a knife and stabbed the woman before strangling her with a rope. 

He took her car keys, three cellphones, R60 and clothes belonging to her son.

Mdingi then left for his hometown of Mbizana, 400km away.

When he was arrested, police also recovered the cellphones he had stolen.