South African woman sentenced to life imprisonment for burning her boyfriend to death in his car

Wednesday, April 10, 2024
 – A South African woman, Nonjabulo Nokukhanya Nkosiwho, has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of her boyfriend, Dumisani Qwabe, 47, a ward councilor candidate.

Nkosiwho, 37, had planned to hire a hitman to kill her boyfriend but failed and instead carried out the murder on her own.

She was sentenced for murder in the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

The National Prosecuting Authority in KZN said Nkosi was in a romantic relationship with Qwabe and at some point she decided to kill him.

"She approached Xolani Skhumbuzo Mtambo to arrange for a hitman to kill him, but the plan fell through,” said NPA spokesperson Natasha Ramkisson-Kara.

She said Nkosi then obtained a firearm and petrol to carry out the killing by herself.

“On October 25, 2021, Nkosi met Mtambo at a marketplace, where he loaded the firearm for her, and showed her how to use it. Thereafter, Qwabe received a call from Nkosi and left his house,” Ramkisson-Kara said.

“Later that night, his motor vehicle was found engulfed in flames on the road between Nongoma and Pongola, with his burnt remains inside.”

The NPA said Nkosi did not report to work the next day due to first and second-degree burns she sustained to her left cheek and left hand.

“Following Qwabe’s death, his family members discovered that his cellphone and bank card were still active. Police investigations revealed that Nkosi was using Qwabe’s bank card and banking app to make cash withdrawals and pay for purchases,”Ramkisson-Kara said.

“She was subsequently arrested, and an analysis of her cellphone records led to Mtambo’s arrest, three months later.

In court the state handed in evidence of WhatsApp messages between both the accused before and after Qwabe’s murder, the NPA said.

“Footage from CCTV cameras at the ATM where Nkosi used Qwabe’s bank card, was also submitted as evidence.”

In aggravation of sentencing, victim impact statement handed to court described Qwabe as a kind and supportive person who had a vested interest in the community. 

The family said they had difficulty coming to terms with his death, especially since he was killed in such a gruesome manner.”

In addition to life, Nkosi was sentenced to five years imprisonment for theft.

Mtambo was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for murder.

“In sentencing him, the court considered the fact that he was a first offender and that he was not present on the scene when the offence was committed as substantial and compelling reasons to deviate from the minimum sentence of life imprisonment,” said Ramkisson-Kara. 

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