News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Tuesday October 17th 2017

Life sentences for Gugulethu principal killers

Vuyisile Ndzumeka after he was taken in for questioning by police in September 2009. He, together with his wife Yalezwa and hitman Luvo Nketho, on Friday received life sentences for murdering Nomziwoxolo Dziba and Bongani Dingana. Photo: Sandiso Phaliso/WCN

A double life sentence was handed down by the Western Cape High Court to convicted murderer Vuyisile Ndzumeka and Luvo Nketho in relation to murdering Gigulethu’s acting school principal Mandisa Dziba and New Crossroads resident Bongani Dingana, about three years ago.

A single life sentence was also handed down to Vuyisile’s wife Yalezwa Ndzumeka for her role in Dingana’s murder.

The Ndzumeka’s, who had taken out three life insurance policies on Dingana, hired Nketho as their hitman. A first attempt on Dingana’s life was made on April 16, 2009 which left him injured. He was then gunned down in the street two months later, on June 17.

Vuyisile, who was employed as the financial officer at Sthembele Matiso High in Gugulethu, then hired Nketho to kill acting principal Mandisa Dziba after she began asking questions about financial irregularities at the school.

Dziba was shot in the head outside her school office on August 24, 2009.

In addition to the two life sentences for murder, Vuyisile, received three years for fraud related to Dingana’s life insurance policy and 15 years for attempted murder related to the first attempt on Dingana’s life.

Nketho received a further three year sentence for the possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

In addition to her life sentence for Dingana’s murder, Yalezwa was also handed an 18-month sentence for fraud and 15 years for attempted murder.

The family of both deceased said they were satisfied with the fact that the trio would spend the rest of their lives in prison and regarded the sentence as a “victory” even though it would not return their loved ones to them.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) also welcomed the sentences.

NPA spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said the sentences would send a strong message to would-be offenders that crime does not pay.

The state proved Vuyisile and his wife Yalezwa devised the plan to kill Dziba, as Vuyisile was suspended without pay while Dziba investigated the mismanagement of the school’s funds.

The plan to kill her came about when Vuyisile was pressured to explain what had happened to over R200 000 in missing funds.

The conviction largely hinged on the testimony of Lindile Nkewu who plotted the kill with Nketho, but who approached the police as witness before being arrested following Dziba’s murder.

Nkewu said he decided to alert the police to his role in the killing because he could not live with the fact that the principal was killed for nothing.

Investigations into Dziba’s murder uncovered Nketho and the Ndzumeka’s role in Dingana’s death.

Giving down the sentence, acting Judge Boet Smit said “there is no doubt that the killing of Bongani was planned in a selfish manner and out of greed”.

He continued that “the murder of Dziba was unnecessary and the accused (Vuyisile) would not have gained anything from it as the Department of Education was already investigating him”.

Smit said “should a court pose a sentence that is lenient, society would take the law into their own hands,” adding that although the Ndzumeka couple did not physically commit the murders, they planned them.

Smit said no mitigating circumstances from the side of the accused could result in the court diverting from the minimum sentence prescribed in the legislature.

Pinky Dziba, daughter of the deceased, said: We are happy that justice has been served, although this will not bring back our mother.”

Ntokozo Dziba, sister-in-law to the deceased said the family still had unanswered questions.

“We still remain in limbo as to why the deceased were killed and who else is involved in the murders.  We would be happy if those questions would be answered.”

Provincial ANC Women’s League organiser Dorothea Gopie, who was flanked by more than 20 other women from her organisation, welcomed the sentencing.

“We are happy that justice has finally been served and hope this will send a strong message to would-be criminals that when you commit a crime, you end up in jail.” - Sandiso Phaliso

Tags: ANC Women’s League, Bongani Dingana, Department of Education, Dorothea Gopie, Eric Ntabazalila, Judge Boet Smit, Luvo Nketho, Mandisa Dziba, Ntokozo Dziba, Pinky Dziba, Sthembele Matiso High, The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Vuyisile Ndzumeka, Western Cape High Court, Yalezwa Ndzumeka

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