A 25-year-old man who appeared in the Mpumalanga High Court was sentenced to life imprisonment for killing his cousin. According to Monica Nyuswa, the National Prosecuting Authority’s spokesperson, Nkosinathi Nzimande was found guilty of murdering his 18-year-old cousin Monica Lukhele in July last year.
“Nzimande went to attend a party with his family in Tweefontein and Lukhele was also in attendance. Later, Lukhele and Nzimande went to the tavern to consume alcohol. On their way back home, Nzimande dragged Lukhele to a field near the garage and raped her,” said Nyuswa.
Nyuswa said Lukhele threatened to tell the family about the ordeal and a fight ensued. She said Nzimande hit the victim on her face with a rock and strangled her, Lukhele died on the scene. Nyuswa said after committing the offence, Nzimande went to a house nearby to ask for clean clothes as he had bloodstains of the deceased on his clothes.
“The man then handed himself to the police, confessed, and pointed out the deceased. Nzimande claimed consent on rape,” said Nyuswa.
According to Nyuswa, the state advocate, Mmamphai Tshwane led evidence of a police officer who attended the crime scene.
“He testified from what he observed from the crime scene.”
She furthermore added that Advocate Mmamphai also led the evidence of the medical doctor who declared Lukhele dead.
“Their evidence collaborated with the evidence of a man who gave Nzimande clean clothes. He told the court that he saw Nzimande wearing clothes with blood stains but did not tell him about the killing of the deceased,” said Nyuswa.
In court, Tshwane argued that when the deceased threatened to report the accused to their grandmother for raping her, he planned to kill her on the spot by hitting her on her face. He then dragged her body to a nearby stream.
Judge Bruce Langa expressed dismay at the gruesome manner in which Lukhele was murdered by a relative. He sentenced Nzimande to life imprisonment for murder.