Life sentence handed down to killer of mother and child welcomed by police

Police say the killer had buried the mother and child in a shallow grave at Desainagar Park Avenue in Tongaat, KwaZulu-Natal.

KwaZulu-Natal acting police commissioner lieutenant general Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi has welcomed the conviction and sentence handed down to a man who killed a mother and her child in Tongaat, Durban late last year.

On Thursday, the Durban High Court sentenced Bongani Bhamuza Gumede, 30, to two terms of life imprisonment for the murders.

The sentence followed the discovery of the bodies of 23-year-old Zinhle Ntuli and her daughter Snothile, 5, in a shallow grave at Desainagar Park Avenue in Tongaat, KwaZulu-Natal police spokesman Brigadier Jay Naicker said.

On December 18, 2017, a member of the community spotted blood on a pathway. He also suspected that someone was dragged into the bush. When he followed the blood trail into the bush he found what looked like a newly dug grave. Police were immediately contacted and police officers from the search and rescue unit were summoned to the scene.

“Police officers made the gruesome discovery of the bodies of a mother and child with open wounds to their heads. Charges of murder were opened at Tongaat SAPS [South African Police Service] and a thorough investigation followed,” he said.

Investigations revealed that Gumede had killed his victims with a hammer before he buried their bodies in a shallow grave. Although he went into hiding, he was traced and eventually arrested in Jozini in Northern KwaZulu-Natal on December 31, 2017. Following his arrest, he made several court appearances. His bail was successfully opposed and he remained in custody until he was sentenced, Naicker said.

Mkhwanazi said: “We wish to commend Detective Sergeant Pinky Mazwayi from Tongaat SAPS for working tirelessly to ensure that the suspect is arrested and placed before court in a short space of time after the bodies were discovered.

“His hard work and dedication in putting together a well investigated case before court contributed to the suspect being convicted. We are pleased that this cold-blooded killer is behind bars where he belongs and will not be able to harm any more women and children in our province,” Mkhwanazi said.

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