The mother of two of the six young Kraaifontein men slain in a brutal vigilante killing three years ago cried “tears of joy” when the ringleader was sentenced to six life terms and 30 years.
Western Cape High Court Deputy Judge President Patricia Goliath sentenced Bangikhaya Koni, 37, to five years for each of the six kidnappings, and to life imprisonment for each of the six murders.
Judge Goliath ordered that the sentences run concurrently.
Koni was one 16 arrested for rounding up six young men at a house in Kraaifontein, in December 2014, then taking them to Joostenbergvlakte, where they were stabbed and crushed with rocks and bricks.
Nofomile Ngxabela 58, said she wants all the culprits to rot in jail. She lost two sons on the night Koni and his cohorts went on their bloody spree. The naked bodies of her two boys, Sandisile Ngxabela, 21, Sakhele Ngxabela, 24, were found along with the others – Emmanuel Barnes, Zola Gayiya, Lulama Dunga and Mhlanganisi Mlanjeni – the following morning.
They had been tied up and tortured for hours.
“I don’t know what to say,” Ms Ngxabela said after the verdict. “I was so happy that the law took its course. I cried tears of joy in court, I thanked God for what the judges did even though my children won’t come back.
“I was so distressed following the death of my children. I got sick and lost weight. I had to sell my house to bury my children,” she said.
Ms Ngxabela said the killers had accused the six young men of stealing a prefab bungalow.
“And later, after they were arrested, they changed the statement and created a story accusing them of robbing and killing a security guard. “They collected them and kept them in the house and tortured them and later took them to a farm and killed them,” she sobbed.
Ms Ngxabela said the young men had been barely recognisable when their bodies were found.
“They were tied with wires with burn marks on their bodies. They’d been stabbed and stoned to death. My son (Sandile) with other two deceased had their private parts removed,” she said.
Koni is originally from Engcobo in the Eastern Cape but was staying in Wallacedene, Kraaifontein.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Eric Ntabazalila said Koni, in his plea agreement, accused the six young men of killing a security guard Tsutsutsu Ntsundu – also from Engcobo – for his firearm.
Koni said he had been offered R3 000 by a relative of Ntsundu’s to identify his killers.
After supplying this information, Koni was offered R10 000 for them to be traced and killed.
The vigilantes had bundled the six young men into a bakkie and driven to Joostenbergvlakte, where they were stabbed with a sword, and stoned.
Ms Ngxabela is left with only one son and two grandchildren (Sakhele’s children).
“I’m surviving with disability grant and child support grant for my grandchildren. I have to pay R500 for rent. I have diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure and ulcers,” she said.
– Additional reporting by the Cape Times