Durban man sentenced to 20 years in prison for cable theft, murder and obstruction of justice

The Pinetown Magistrate’s Court has handed down an effective 20-year sentence to a man for cable theft, murder and obstructing the course of justice.

According to KwaZulu-Natal SAPS spokesperson Constable Thenjiswa Ngcobo, Sthembiso Zondo, 30, received 15 years for murder and five years for obstructing the course of justice.

Ngcobo said that on September 21, 2019 police officers received information about a man suspected to be a copper cable thief.

She said that a discovery was made after police followed the lead.

“They proceeded to a house at Shongweni Dam where he was residing. Upon searching the house, copper cables were recovered by the police officers. One police officer decided to search the pit toilet to ensure there were no copper cables left. As he was searching, he saw a blanket and decide to pull it up,” said Ngcobo.

She said that, as the officer pulled the blanket, he saw a bone and was convinced it was human remains.

“The police search and rescue unit was summoned and his suspicions were confirmed when the team removed a skeleton from the pit toilet,” said Ngcobo.

Zondo was arrested for possession of stolen property, while detectives attempted to determine the identity of the deceased.

Investigations revealed that the deceased was Thulile Mkhize, who had been reported missing at Jabulani SAPS in Gauteng on July 9, 2019.

“Zondo was then charged with murder and made several appearances at the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court before he was sentenced,” added Ngcobo.

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