Men who killed a mother and her son given life sentences
Two of the four Mdantsane men who brutally shot and killed a 61-year-old NU13 woman and her son in 2015 have each been handed double life sentences for the murders.
Nonkululeko Swartbooi was gunned down in her home in front of her autistic 26-year-old son Wola.
Luthando Kondile, 30, and Hlumani Baleka, 22, also killed her other son, Libona “Jigga” Swartbooi, 23, after the attack.
They were found guilty earlier in September.
Lindokuhle Makawula, 21, was also arrested for the attacks. During sentencing on Monday, judge Feziwe Rengqe described the men as “ruthless and barbaric killers”.
Libona was kidnapped by the three between April 20 and 26 in 2015, and taken to the NU15 soccer grounds, where they tied him up with shoelaces and then took his keys to his home.
On arrival at the home where he lived with his mother and brother, the gang shot and killed Nonkululeko, and then ransacked her house.
They then returned to the NU15 soccer grounds and killed Libona before making their escape in his mother’s Nissan Almera with two plasma TVs, her gun, a home theatre system, a playstation, a cellphone and clothing items.
Nonkululeko’s body was found after neighbours thought it odd that her garage door and gate were left open for days.
Because Makawula was under the age of 18 at the time of the murders, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison for each of the two murders.
These sentences will run consecutively, meaning he will spend 50 years in prison.
The men were also convicted of other crimes, including kidnapping, illegal possession of a semi-automatic firearm and ammunition and housebreaking with intent to commit a robbery.
Kondile and Baleka were further sentenced to 15 years each for robbery, five years each for housebreaking with intent to rob, five years for kidnapping, three years for possession of a semi-automatic firearm, and two years for illegal possession of ammunition.
Rengqe said all the other sentences could run concurrently.
Makawula was also sentenced to 10 years each for the two robbery counts, five years for housebreaking, five years for kidnapping, three years for possession of a firearm and two years for the possession of illegal ammunition.
Their accomplice, Chuma Metele, is already serving an 18-year sentence after he pleaded guilty to the offences and turned state witness in 2018.