The police management in Mpumalanga has welcomed the hefty sentence that was handed down to Chris Ntimane, aged 28 and Eugine Lubisi, aged 29. The two were convicted and sentenced on Friday, 25 June 2021, by the Mpumalanga Division of the High Court sitting in Nelspruit.
The court sentenced the duo after the court heard how they fatally stabbed two brothers, 24-year-old Ally Goodman and Simon Mahlalela, aged 31 on 29 June 2019, at Mashonamini Trust in Calcutta, near Hazyview.
It is said that the Mahlalela siblings and the two accused were at a certain tavern at Calcutta when an argument ensued over alcoholic beverages. The squabble led into the victims leaving the tavern with two other friends and headed home but Ntimane and Lubisi who wanted to settle a score, stalked them to persist the earlier altercation.
A serious fight then broke out between the victims and the accused but the Mahlalelas’ friends managed to flee. The fight ended badly as the victims sustained serious injuries. When the accused realized the consequences of their act, they fled the scene, leaving the victims helpless.
This gruesome incident was then reported to the police whereupon arrival, the siblings were found lying in pools of blood with multiple stab wounds and they were certified dead by the paramedics.
A team was established to investigate this matter, however, Ntimane handed himself over to the police later that day in the company of his relative while Lubisi, went on the run and was sought. He was however finally traced at his hiding place when he was arrested at a nearby hospital when he checked in for medical attention after the injuries he sustained in the said fight.
The two were then charged accordingly and appeared before court where they were convicted hence their sentencing as follows:
On the first and second counts of murder, they were both sentenced to 25 years to languish in prison for each murder.
The court directed that both sentences to run concurrently, meanwhile, they were also found to be unfit to possess firearms.
Major General Thulani Phahla, who is the Acting Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Mpumalanga, has lauded the sterling work displayed by the Investigation team, the Prosecution, as well as the Judiciary. “We hope that the sentence will enable other would-be offenders to glean a lesson from this and also bring closure to the victims’ family. People should know that crime does not pay but only brings disastrous consequences”, said General Phahla.