UJ graduate gets 15 years in jail for gruesome murder of flatmate with a hammer
A University of Johannesburg graduate has been sentenced to 15 years in jail for stabbing and bludgeoning his flatmate to death with a hammer.
Siphamandla Gamede, 25, was sentenced by judge Mohamed Ismail in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Tuesday for murder and attempting to obstruct the ends of justice. He was sentenced to an additional two years on the second charge.
Gamede killed Nkosinathi Ngema at Cherry Manor Complex in Roodepoort in January. He pleaded guilty to both charges and had been in custody since the day of his arrest on January 10 2019.
Gamede, who has a bachelor of mathematics degree, had been living with Ngema and Ngema's brother in the same flat, according to the National Prosecuting Authority.
"At the time of the incident, the brother went to his place of work leaving behind the deceased and the accused who were still sleeping in their respective rooms. Later that day, the accused hit the deceased with a hammer and then stabbed him several times with a knife," said NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane.
When his brother returned from work, he was shocked to find blood inside the flat, the NPA statement reads. Gamede lied that Ngema had been a victim of a robbery.
The prosecution called Ngema's brother and mother Molly to testify in aggravation of sentence. "They both testified on how the death had negatively impacted their lives. The brother had resigned from his workplace because he could not cope with the trauma he had experienced," said Mjonondwane.
The Sowetan reports that Gamede alleged that he killed Ngema in self-defence after Ngema attacked him with a knife. Gamede said this was after he had accessed his late friend’s foreign exchange account and traded with it.
After the murder, the Sowetan reports, he severed Ngema's limbs and threw them into a dustbin. Gamede also attempted to burn his friend's body in a bid to get rid of the evidence.
Sentencing him to the minimum 15-year jail term for murder, Ismail said that a precondition for the court to deviate from the prescribed sentence was that there must be compelling circumstances to permit the court to give the accused a fairly ordained sentence.
"The mitigating factors in this case is that you have no previous convictions and you also pleaded guilty," Ismael said.
The NPA said the killing of innocent human beings had reached an unprecedented level in the country. It vowed to continue to advocate for the right to life.