The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) on Friday welcomed the sentencing of the mastermind behind the killing of Thandazile Mpunzi, an albino, who was killed for “muti purposes”.
On Thursday Judge Themba Sishi, who presided over the matter at the Mtubatuba High Court in northern KwaZulu-Natal, sentenced Bhekufufa Gumede to life in prison. Gumede is a leader of the Zion Congregation Church.
CGE spokesperson Javu Baloyi said the sentence would serve as a lesson to criminals. The sentence will also help to dispel the the myths that exist in the society about people with albinism.
“The Commission believes that the sentencing of Bhekufufa Gumede, a leader of the Zion Congregation Church and the chief mastermind of Mpunzi’s killing for life, will send a strong message that killing of people with albinism will not be tolerated by our judicial system,” said Baloyi.
The CGE said in a statement that it also welcomed the earlier sentencing of Gumede’s accomplices Mandla Mabuza and Lindokuhle Khumalo were both sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment while Siyabonga Gwala will serve 18 years in jail.
“The CGE commends all in the justice system who worked tirelessly to ensure that justice is done for the late Thandazile Mpunzi and her family,” said Thoko Mpumlwana, acting CGE chairperson.
“The long term prison sentences handed down for kidnapping and killing will send a clear message that killing of people with albinism will not be tolerated in our society.”