The Acting Provincial Commissioner for KwaZulu-Natal, Major General Bheki Langa welcomed the appropriate sentences handed down to three men who were responsible for a massacre in Ceza during 2016. The Provincial Organised Crime Unit was also praised for their efforts in ensuring that overwhelming evidence was presented to the court which led to the conviction of the accused. “These criminals will spend the rest of their lives in prison for brutally killing five members of the Zondo family at Ceza during 2016. We also wish to thank the key witness in this case who was so brave to come forward and led concrete evidence that assisted in the conviction of the criminals. Our ballistics and forensic experts also played a pivotal role in collecting all the necessary evidence from the crime scene,” he said.
On Friday, 6 October 2017 the Pongola Regional Court convicted and sentenced Ayanda Khumalo (25) and Siyabonga Buthelezi (34) to five terms of life imprisonment each for the five counts of murder. They also received 10 years imprisonment each for attempted murder, five years imprisonment for arson and a further 15 years imprisonment for being in possession of an unlicensed firearm. Khumalo was also sentenced to an additional one year imprisonment for possession of unlicensed ammunition. The third accused, Siyabonga ‘Gwinya” Xulu (32) was found not guilty for the murders and arson but was convicted and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for possession of an unlicensed firearm and three years’ imprisonment for possession of ammunition.
During April 2016, Khululiwe Buthelezi (35); Mpandlana Zondo and his wife Philisiwe Zondo as well as their two grandchildren Vangeli Zondo (2) and Simphiwe Zondo (4) were in their home at Empakelweni area, Ceza when they were attacked by the accused. Their home was set alight after the attack. Five victims died at the scene whilst the sixth victim survived with gunshot wounds. A case of murder, arson and attempted murder were opened at Ceza police station.
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