PIETERMARITZBURG – Two accused who were convicted for robbing and choking pensioner, 63-year-old Govindaraju Chinnian to death, were both slapped with a 22 year prison sentence at the Pietermaritzburg High Court, earlier this week.
Siyabonga Bongani Mhlongo (34) and Sizwe Mthethwa (29) were each sentenced to an effective 22 years imprisonment in the Pietermaritzburg High Court after pleading guilty to the murder and robbery of a man in May this year.
The deceased, Mr. Govindaraju Chinnian (63) owned a hardware store in Verulam and the accused were employed by him on a casual basis. The men were unhappy with their wages and decided to rob and murder him.
They attacked the deceased in a storage container and choked him. Once subdued, they dropped him to the floor and placed several full bags of cement (weighing 50kgs each) on him. They stole his money and cellphone, locked the container and left. The post mortem report revealed that the man died of neck compression and traumatic asphyxia.
In aggravation of sentence Advocate Frank van Heerden handed in a victim impact statement facilitated by Court Preparation Officer Louann Shuttleworth and compiled by the wife and sons of the deceased. The family mentioned that they were a close-knit family that was shattered as a result of the untimely death of their husband/father. The deceased’s wife said that the accused not only killed her husband but they had killed a part of her as well.
The accused were sentenced to 22 years imprisonment for murder and 2 years imprisonment for theft. The sentences will run concurrently.
The Director of Public Prosecutions Adv. Moipone Noko: ‘We are pleased with the conviction and sentence in this matter. We hope that sentences of this nature will send out the necessary detterant effect.’