News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Saturday November 17th 2018

Langa axe killers sentenced

30.07.2012

Sentence was handed down in the Cape High Court today to three men who embarked on a spree of murder and rape in Langa on the night of August 31, 2010.

Siphiwo Mthayisi, 21, Siphelele Mesheki, 20, and Sikholise Sam, 20, received 30 years, 25 years and 15 years imprisonment respectively for their roles in the killing and rape that occurred that night.

In a trial that has run for the better part of a year, the state proved beyond reasonable doubt that the trio broke into the Langa house of Monwabisi Makeleni, stabbed him and raped a female friend before stealing a number of his possessions, including a hand axe.

After leaving Makeleni’s house on foot, the trio came across a couple sitting in a parked car.

The young men damaged the vehicle before hauling Michael Notu and Vuyokazi Sifuba out of the car and robbing them of their cellphones and cash.

They then took Notu and Sifuba to an open field where Sifuba was raped by Mthayisi and Sam before she and Notu were hacked to death with the stolen axe.

Mthayisi confessed to this version of events.

Mesheki was found guilty of two counts of murder and Mthayisi was convicted of two counts of murder and two counts of rape. Sam was found guilty of one count of murder.

Handing down sentence, Judge Wilhelm van Staden said it worked in the men’s favour that they were under age at the time the crimes were committed, adding that Mthayisi and Sam were first offenders.

“But the right of defenseless women cannot be overemphasized,” said van Staden.

“Justice has been served,” said Anabo Mthembu, 30, a friend of one of the victims.

She said she knows her friend would not come back but the “the sentence would keep these bastards in jail for a long time”.

Makeleni family member Aaron Thsengele, 40, disagreed with Judge van Staden’s comment in court that the men could yet become responsible adults.

“When they acted in the manner in which they did at their age, how will they act when they’re older?” asked Thsengele.

“They deserved to die, no wonder so many victims want the death sentence to be brought back,” he said.

Mesheki applied for leave to appeal his sentence, while August 16 was set aside for Mthayisi and Sam to inform the court whether they wish to apply for leave to appeal. – Sandiso Phaliso

Tags: Aaron Thsengele, Anabo Mthembu, cape high court, Judge Wilhelm van Staden, langa, Michael Notu, Monwabisi Makeleni, Sikholise Sam, Siphelele Mesheki, Siphiwo Mthayisi, Vuyokazi Sifuba

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