The Mtubatuba High Court sentenced Nhlanhla “Sathane” Mhlongo (23) to life imprisonment for murder; 15 years for robbery; five years for kidnapping and five years for malicious damage to property. The matter was finalised in court on 18 February 2020.
The sentence came after the court heard how Gareth Toohey (38) was brutally kidnapped and murdered. It is alleged on 22 January 2019, Toohey who was employed as an Admin Clerk at Sundumbili SAPS was kidnapped by a known man. On the following day at 08:55, his vehicle was found burnt at a sugarcane field in the Nyoni area.
Not far from his burnt vehicle, his body was recovered. His hands and legs were tied with a rope and his body was burnt. Investigations revealed that the deceased was assaulted with a hammer and stabbed with a screwdriver before being set alight. He was also robbed of R200 in cash that was taken from his wallet. The money was used to buy petrol at a service station to set the victim and his vehicle alight.
A Detective Warrant Officer assigned to investigate the case and conducted a thorough investigation by following all possible leads regarding the suspects involved. With the assistance of the Gingindlovu Detective Branch Commander, the accused was traced and arrested in the Mangethe area at Mandeni. During the course of the investigation it was established that the accused was out on parole for a robbery case committed in 2018. He was positively linked to the matter and was tried in court until he was sentenced.
“This sentence is a victory for us and will send a clear message to other criminals that wherever you are hiding we will find you. We hope that this sentence will bring comfort to the family and fellow colleagues who lost their loved one. The sterling investigation conducted by the investigative team is commended,” said the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Khombinkosi Jula
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