Hefty terms for NMU student attackers
Two men convicted of kidnapping and killing a first-year Nelson Mandela University paramedic student during a hijacking in which his companion was also raped were handed hefty sentences in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Thursday – with one receiving two life sentences.
Thulani Jusaya, 20, who received a life sentence for murder, was also convicted on two counts of rape, for which he received another life sentence.
The life sentences will not run concurrently. Jusaya’s coaccused – an 18-year-old who cannot be named as per a previous court order – received 10 years for murder, two of which were suspended, eight years for kidnapping and 10 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances, five of which were suspended.
He will serve an effective eight years.
Judge Elna Revelas found that though the 18-year-old was not present when Thabang Ngwekazi, 27, was shot dead, he had the foresight to know either of the two people he hijacked and abducted on August 13 2016 and forced, at gunpoint, into the boot of a VW Polo could or would be killed.
While the 18-year-old was sentenced under the Child Justice Act as he was only 16 at the time the crimes were committed, Jusaya did not get any reprieve even though he had turned 18 just two days prior to the incident.
Though during pre-sentencing proceedings both Jusaya and the 18-year-old tendered apologies for their actions to the court as well as to the mother of Ngwekazi, Revelas found the timing of the apologies opportunistic.
“It must be remembered that [the 18-year-old] did not plead guilty to any of the charges and only in the presentencing proceedings did he apologise,” she said.“[Both men’s apologies] were somewhat opportunistic as it came too late.”At the beginning of the trial, Jusaya pleaded guilty to all the charges against him except murder, which Revelas convicted him on.“It was purely an act of convenience to plead guilty and not show any remorse,” she said.“[Jusaya] had many chances in life. However, he chose a life of crime.“In my view, [Jusaya] shows sadistic tendencies and blames others for his actions.“[Jusaya] is a very dangerous young man.”Revelas said in her judgment it had been proven beyond reasonable doubt that the woman had been raped by both Jusaya and a man only identified as Fish before being driven to St George’s Strand, where she was forced to shower in the open public facilities to rid her of DNA evidence.In his plea explanation, Jusaya admitted he forcefully made the woman clean herself.Revelas found the 18-year-old guilty on two charges of kidnapping, two counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances, and murder.Jusaya was convicted on the same charges as well as the two counts of rape.