Two security guards who murdered their employer were sentenced to life imprisonment in the Ladysmith Regional Court, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said on Wednesday.
Philani Thulani Mbhele, 26, and Sanele Amos Madide, 23, were each sentenced to life for the murder, 15 years for robbery and 15 years for obstructing the course of justice relating to the death of their employer, Dawood Warasally, NPA spokesperson Natasha Kara said.
In early June 2016, she added, Warasally, the owner of a security company based in Ladysmith, was paying wages to his employees across northern KZN.
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“Mbhele and Madide were stationed at a vacant hotel. Warasally had called them earlier in the day, saying that he would be coming through to pay them their wages.
“When Warasally arrived at the hotel, he was severely assaulted by the two men. They used a spear, bricks and rocks and he died on the scene due to severe brain damage and extensive skull fractures. The two stole his vehicle, all the wages and his cellphone before fleeing the scene.”
Kara said Warasally’s son drove to the scene after calls to his father went unanswered. There, he found the abandoned vehicle and smouldering body of his father in a pit at the back of the hotel.
“Mbhele and Madide had set Warasally alight to hide their crime.”
Mbhele was arrested in Ladysmith the next day in possession of Warasally’s phone. Madide was caught a year-and-a-half later after he was arrested for another case in Nquthu.
“Both men pleaded not guilty but senior prosecutor Rene Schuler showed the court video footage taken from a garage near the crime scene. The footage showed the men arriving together, buying petrol in a can and leaving the garage together,” added Kara.
She said Warasally’s son testified about the devastation he suffered after his father’s death.
“He said that he had lost his mentor. He added that his mother was always scared, lonely and trusted nobody. He said at least 70 employees had lost their jobs as the company had to be downsized.”