The two brothers who murdered a family of 7 in the Scottsburgh district recently, have been sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to the murders – which they admitted they planned.
Brothers Thulani, 28, and Sibonelo Mncwabe, 26, butchered eight of their relatives – including three toddlers – because they believed their family members used witchcraft.
The brothers, who were related to the victims killed their uncle after they accused him of practicing witchcraft, which resulted in the death of their sister.
According to the brothers, at a family funeral, their uncle told the brothers that they need not close the grave – as another relative will die soon. When their sister died soon after, the brothers decided that it must be due to witchcraft and that the uncle must also die.
Armed with bush knives, the brothers went to his rondavel and when it was locked, they set it alight to force their uncle out. When the Mantinga, 72 came out the rondavel and saw the brothers, he tried to flee but the brothers killed him with 2 strikes, each, from their bush knives.
Their cousins, who came to investigate, saw what they had just done and ran to call relatives. That is when the brothers decided to kill everybody who could identify them.
They then went through the other 5 buildings, in the homestead, and murdered Shonisile 70, Phindile, 36, Nothando, 15, Thobisile, 12, and Philasande, 2, all Mncwabes, and Amahle Mhlongo, 3, and Sonqoba Khomo, 1.
Defence advocate Trisha Moonsamy appealed to the court to not sentence the brothers to life terms, which is the prescribed sentence for planning and executing murders.
Among them was that they did not deny their guilt, were first time offenders, they were employed and that they supported their aged parents. She also said that they were candidates for rehabilitation.
They were however sentenced to seven life terms in prison for the murders, which the prosecutor said were, “so barbaric that it can not be condoned in a civilised society.”