Drug Deal Killings: Trio Get 4 Life Terms Each, 60 Years

The high court sitting in Mbizana, Eastern Cape, this week sentenced 35-year-old Siphiwe Jula, 34-year-old Msizi Mncwane, and 25-year-old Zamuxolo Shusha to four life terms and an additional 60 years.

All three accused were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment on each of the four counts of murder, which the court ordered to run concurrently.

Jula, Mncwane, and Shusha were also sentenced to 20 years for each of the two counts of attempted murder they were convicted for and another 20 years for unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.

The facts were that on 13 November 2019, the three men shot and killed Bulelani Miya, Mongezi Msomi, Inga Nzimakhwe, and Amahle Sophila at Plangeni village near Mzamba in the district of Mbizana.

The deceased were aged between 22 and 30.

Phakamani Msomi and Sinawo Miya survived the attack but were both left paralysed after they were each shot at least eight times.

Evidence presented in court was that Jula was dealing in drugs in Mzamba and Port Edward. Jula’s accomplices Mncwane and Shusha sold drugs on his behalf.

During October 2019 Jula also gave Bulelani Miya drugs to sell on his behalf.

However, after selling the drugs Miya never gave Jula the money from the sales.

In retaliation, Jula, with the assistance of his two accomplices, hunted down Miya and located him at a house.

After kicking the door down Jula and his accomplices shot indiscriminately at the six men they found inside the house. They fired at least 30 rounds before fleeing in a car.

An observant witness noted the registration number of the car as it sped off and handed the information to the police.

The vehicle was traced and found in the possession of its owner, who was Jula’s girlfriend at the time.

She testified in court that on the day in question her car was with Jula.

The three men pleaded not guilty and claimed to have alibis but State Advocate Mkhuseli Ntaba said the evidence showed the trio were guilty as charged.

Judge Richard Brooks agreed with the prosecutor, saying the only fitting sentence for the crimes was a lengthy jail term.

After the sentencing, the three convicted murderers made an application for leave to appeal, which the prosecutor successfully opposed.