A 27-year-old man who pleaded guilty to the murder of Sam Holdings general manager Nkosinathi Ngcongo has been sentenced to life in prison.
Phindokuhle Nkosi was sentenced in the high court sitting in Delmas, Mpumalanga today.
Nkosi, who was working for a security company that was contracted to Sam Holdings, owned by controversial businessman Sam Chabalala, confessed to planning the murder of Nkosinathi Ngcongo.
The 30-year-old was shot and killed in the Sam Holdings premises last September.
His murder came days after he gave the Hawks a sworn affidavit relating to the fraud, corruption, contravention of the Immigration Act as well as the illegal possession of firearm and ammunition charges against Chabalala.
On Wednesday, the court heard how Nkosi and Chabalala, together with another wanted suspect known as Khumalo, planned the hit on Ngcongo.
Nkosi told the court through a written confession that was read by his lawyer, Takalani Mothivhithivhi, that he received a message that Chabalala was arrested by the Hawks and later learnt that he was admitted in hospital due to poisoning.
Nkosi said he went to the hospital on the following day, where he met with Chabalala who requested him to organize a hitman that would get rid of Ngcongo because he is the reason why he was arrested.
Chabalala promised to pay any price.
He said he organized a man known as Khumalo to carry out the job.
They later left the scene and went back to the hospital where Chabalala was admitted but were refused entry.
He said he took Khumalo to the taxi rank and gave him R1 000, though they agreed on R100 000.
State prosecutor Robert Molokoane told the court that Nkosi must be given a harsh sentence as he was seen inside the company’s premises before the deceased was shot.
He said after the deceased was shot they went back to the hospital to take payment but were not allowed in.
“He handed himself over because he knew there was overwhelming evidence against him. There were cameras at the place,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mothivhithivhi asked for a lenient sentence, stating that Nkosi has been in custody for a year, is remorseful, and the fact that he was a first-time offender.
Judge Thandoluhle Mankge said Nkosi was willing to assist the state if Chabalala and the other suspect were arrested.
She questioned why the accused had so much confidence in asking him to orchestrate the general manager’s murder.
“The breadwinner in Ngcongo’s family was taken away. The deceased was shot seven times and some of the shots were at close range.
“No sentence can return the son to his mother. The types of murders which are called contract murders are taken very seriously by the state. It is sad how people have little regard for the gift of life.
“Punishment is necessary for the society to respect the law and not take the law into their own hands,” she said.
The accused is unfit to carry a firearm and cannot work a job which requires him to carry a firearm.
The deceased’s mother, Ntombifuthi Ngcongo, welcomed the sentence and said he deserved it.
“I am happy with the court’s outcome, however, his sentencing will not bring back my son,” she said.
Two warrants of arrest have since been issued for the “missing” Chabalala, who has failed to appear at the Witbank and Middelburg magistrates courts in March.
Mshengu, as he is affectionately known, was out on R200 000 bail when he was arrested this February for another charge of corruption in which he was granted bail of R500 000 by the Middelburg Magistrates Court.
He made headlines in July 2018 after flashing a convoy of his expensive 72 cars at the Durban July event.
Chabalala has always claimed to be born in Venda, however in his last court appearance, it was revealed that he was born in Zimbabwe, is 28 years, and that his real name is Gilbert Tachuona.
In other news – Things you need to know about Katlego Moboe’s side-chick Nikita Murray
Get to know Nikita Murray the woman behind Outsurance ambassador and SABC 3 Expresso breakfast show host Katlego Moboe cheating scandal. The entertainment industry can be an unforgiving place, and the slightest mistake can ruin one’s reputation and decades’ worth of work.
The famous Katlego Maboe might have plotted his own downfall after his viral cheating scandal video went viral. The trolls that come when a celebrity makes a mistake are another thing that no one would like to encounter. Learn More