Double life sentences and 48 years for Glebelands killer
The Pietermaritzburg high court handed down two life sentences and 48 years behind bars to a Durban man deemed a hitman at the notorious Glebelands Hostel in Umlazi.
Natasha Kara, regional spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), said Senzo Cele's sentencing follows his recent conviction on four counts of murder as well as unlawful possession of a prohibited firearm and ammunition.
The hostel has been engulfed in violence in recent years, with one activist saying more than 100 people have been murdered at the hostel or in violence linked to it and its power struggles.
“One murder conviction is in connection with the murder of Simphiwe Ndebele in July 2018. Ndebele was shot and killed at the Glebelands Hostel after an argument with Cele.
“The second murder was of Siyabonga Mbhele in August 2018 at KwaMnyandu taxi rank.”
Kara said Cele was also convicted of the double murder of Joseph Nqaba Mbhele and Senzo Luthuli in October 2018. They were also shot and killed at KwaMnyandu taxi rank.
All the victims died at the crime scenes of multiple gunshot wounds.
“Cele was arrested in mid-October 2018 when police officers of the K9 dog unit pursued a vehicle driving recklessly in the Umlazi area. They discovered the driver was Cele and upon arrest he was found in possession of a prohibited firearm, the serial number of which was filed off, and several rounds of ammunition.”
Cele was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murders of Ndebele and Siyabonga Mbhele. He received 15 years' imprisonment each for the murders of Joseph Mbhele and Luthuli.
“He was further sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment for unlawful possession of a prohibited firearm and three years' imprisonment for the possession of the ammunition,” added Kara.
“The successful finalisation of this matter is welcomed. There has been a huge outcry from the public for the NPA to deliver on its prosecutorial mandate and deal with these violent matters, especially those emanating from the Glebelands area,” said advocate Elaine Zungu, director of public prosecutions in KwaZulu-Natal.
“Commendations to both the prosecution and police who tirelessly worked in finalising this matter.”
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