Family feud killers handed long jail terms
THE FAMILY of a man shot dead by his uncles was relieved when his killers were given lengthy terms at an emotional sentencing at the Johannesburg High Court yesterday.
Judge Papi Masopa handed the murderers a combined sentence of 55 years in prison. The first was sentenced to 30 years and the second 25 years behind bars.
The family feud dates back to 2015 when one of the Danisa brothers was murdered while travelling in his taxi. The long-running revenge killings have resulted in nine family members being murdered in counter-attacks since then.
Handing down the sentences, Judge Masopa said Phiwayibona Dumakude was murdered in a horrible way in front of his two children.
Dumakude resided at the Dube Men’s Hostel in Soweto and on the night of June 14, 2015, he was with his girlfriend, Zandile Lamula. They heard a knock and Lamula opened the door and was confronted by the two accused, wielding firearms.
They forced their way in and overpowered Lamula. As they were about to shoot Dumakude, the gun jammed.
His 8-year-old son tried to protect his father but was pushed to the side.
It was then that Qiniselihle Danisa shot Dumakude, who was unarmed, and they both fled the scene. Dumakude was rushed to Bheki Mlangeni Hospital in Jabulani, but died on arrival.
Judge Masopa said the ordeal had left the family traumatised, especially the older son, who was now showing signs of violence, as they could not continue with counselling owing to financial constraints.
Judge Masopa acknowledged the killers had lost family members as they had tried to get revenge, but it seemed to him the senseless, brutal killings were continuing. He added that despite the men losing their brother, it was irresponsible of them to act in the manner they did. He wondered why they did not report the case to the police and let the law take its course.
Judge Masopa emphasised that the murder appeared premeditated, because before the guilty duo opened fire, they said to each other “bulala lenja” (kill this dog).
He said they had been in police custody for the past three years and he would consider that when sentencing. He sentenced Qiniselihle to 30 years and Maphutha Danisa, to 25 years.
In court, Lamula appeared scared, shaking and partially covered her face as she feared the Danisas would hire someone to kill her.
The courtroom was filled with police officers, heavily armed to protect the family and the citizens should anything go wrong, because the Danisa family is feared and known to be dangerous. The Dumakude family was advised by police that if they saw anything suspicious, they should alert them.
Siyazi Zulu, who spoke on behalf of the victim’s family, said he was happy about the sentences as they were lengthy ones and delivered a strong message to both families to stop the violence between them.