Three murder accused were handed lengthy jail sentences by the Durban High Court for killing a 65-year-old woman in her home in Shallcross, Durban, KwaZulu Natal police said on Tuesday.
Happiness Mkhize, 35, Doctor Vitus Madida, 40, and Sibongiseni Gumbi, 31 were sentenced on June 14 for killing Hemrani Bijral, 65, in May 2017.
Madida and Gumbi were found guilty with each receiving a life term for murder and 15 years for robbery. The third accused, Mkhize, was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for murder and 15 years for robbery, while a fourth accused was acquitted by the court.
Police spokesperson, Colonel Thembeka Mbele, said the lifeless body of Bijral was discovered at her home in Biggersberg Street in Shallcross on May 6, 2017.
Mbele said the deceased was found strangled and her home had been ransacked.
“A team of investigators worked around the clock on possible leads that could assist with the investigation. Police made a breakthrough when the investigation revealed that the domestic worker, Happiness Mkhize, had enlisted the help of Madida and Gumbi to murder the deceased,” Mbele said.
“The deceased had appealed to Mkhize to assist her to sell her furniture as she had decided to sell her home and belongings with her dream of relocating to live with her children. This dream was short lived when the accused had gathered the night before to plan the murder,” she added.
Police made an appeal to the public via media to assist with investigations. A week later police arrested Mkhize. Madiba, Gumbi and the fourth accused had fled from their homes after being sought by police. In the months to follow, police released identikits of the accused which led to the eventual arrests.
– African News Agency (ANA)