Fam­ily feud killers handed long jail terms

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - MASABATA MKWANANZI masabata.mkwananzi@inl.co.za @Sa­bie_M

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.

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