An airport security officer who returned from his lunch break later than he was supposed to, has been sentenced to life in prison after he shot his supervisor 11 times for reporting him.
The man, Sphelele Mdletshe, and the supervisor, Zandile Cornelia Mkhize, worked at King Shaka International Airport in Durban for an airport-based security company.
On Thursday, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Natasha Kara said the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban sentenced Mdletshe on Wednesday for the March 2018 murder.
“On the day of the offence, [Mdletshe] was late to return from his break. Mkhize contacted their manager and reported this.
“When he returned to his post, he was requested to go home and come back the next day to discuss the issue,” said Kara.
She said this angered Mdletshe.
“He went home, fetched his personal firearm and returned to work. Knowing that Mkhize had finished her shift, he went to the area where she waited for her transport and shot her several times.”
Kara said Mdletshe fired 14 shots, emptying the firearm cartridge. Eleven of the shots hit Mkhize.
“State advocate Khatija Essack [presented] video footage from a camera fixed in the area where Mkhize was shot. This clearly showed Mdletshe as the shooter. Advocate Essack also [presented] ballistic evidence linking his firearm to the killing,” said Kara.
She said that in aggravation of the sentence, a victim impact statement compiled by Mkhize’s son was submitted to the court.
Kara said that in his statement, the 23-year-old said his mother’s death was traumatic for him and his seven-year-old sister.
“He said their mother was a single parent and the breadwinner in their home. He said that his dream to work and take care of his mother would never be fulfilled.”
KwaZulu-Natal Director of Public Prosecutions Elaine Zungu welcomed the sentence and conviction.
“The accused’s actions were senseless and unwarranted. Congratulations to the prosecutor on securing this conviction.”