Duo sentenced for murder of KZN ward councillor

Published Jun 17, 2024


The men who murdered a ward councillor in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) have been sentenced to 39 years imprisonment in the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

Bhekizenzo Mtshali, 38, and Lindelani Nsele, 28, pleaded guilty to murder, attempted murder and malicious damage to property.

The provincial spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Natasha Ramkisson-Kara said the incident took place in Mandeni, Eshowe in March 2021.

The victim, Sibani Robert Mdletshe was a ward councillor at the time of his death and was in the taxi industry in the Mandeni area.

Prior to his death, a taxi and vehicle belonging to the ward councillor was torched and suspects were arrested. Mdletshe was the only witness.

On March 5, 2021, Mdletshe was with a relative and two others when he was gunned down by Mtshali and Nsele at a shopping centre.

"Mdletshe was shot several times and died on the scene, while the relative was taken for medical attention. The motor vehicle that they were in was also damaged. Mtshali and Nsele fled the scene but were eventually arrested after police acted on information provided to them," Ramkisson-Kara said.

The court heard Mdletshe was shot with different firearms and more than 22 empty cartridges were found at the scene. He died instantly. The relative’s leg was crushed and had to be salvaged by medical procedures involving metal rods.

State Prosecutor advicate Elvis Gcweka told the court the loss of Mdletshe hit his family hard, leaving many traumatised.

The family also said the loss impacted the community at large.

Mtshali and Nsele were sentenced to 25 years imprisonment for murder, 12 years imprisonment for attempted murder and two years imprisonment for malicious injury to property, thus resulting in an effective sentence of 39 years.

They court declared the duo unfit to possess a firearm.

"The NPA welcomes the sentence, and we commend the successful partnership between the prosecution and the police," Ramkisson-Kara said

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