Durban: A Pietermaritzburg taxi owner who dumped the bodies of a mother and her child at the request of his lover has been jailed for six years.
Nicholas Sithembiso Lamula, 42, a father of two, pleaded guilty to two counts of being an accessory to murder in the Pietermaritzburg High Court by dumping the bodies of Smangele Yvonne Simamane and her 12-year-old daughter Sbongakonke Mthembu in October.
As part of a plea and sentence agreement, the accused was jailed for an effective six years.
In his guilty plea, Lamula said he was in an intimate relationship with his lover for three years.
He said according to his knowledge his lover had lost a close relative and had suspected Simamane of witchcraft.
Lamula said his lover had blamed Simamane for the death.
He said on October 5, 2020, his lover had lured Simamane and her 12-year-old daughter to her house in Durban where they had been overpowered and made to sit in different rooms where they were interrogated.
He said when he received a telephone call from his lover to come to her house to assist her, the mother and daughter were still alive.
He said he went to a nearby tuckshop and got another call from his lover.
Lamula said when he arrived back at her home he saw the bodies and realised that they had been murdered.
He said Simamane’s body had been in a suitcase while her daughter’s body was wrapped in a blanket.
Lamula said he was instructed by his lover to carry a suitcase to his car and when he told he was scared and not in a position to do so, she threatened to call the police, he decided to assist her.
Lamula said he loaded the bodies and drove to a road in KwaDabeka where they dumped bodies next to a steel barrier on the edge of the road.
On April 7, Lamula handed himself over to police to ease his conscience. He immediately confessed to his involvement and co-operated with police in a pointing out.
Simamane died as a result of blunt force injury to the head and strangulation while her daughter died of ligature compression to the neck.
The accused said he was truly remorseful for his actions.