CAPE TOWN - The Pretoria magistrates court has sentenced a 24-year-old man to life imprisonment for murder and 15 years for robbery.
Phenis Mzimba was convicted and sentenced for the murder of Peter Thobela.
According to evidence before the court, on September 3, 2019,Thobela gave Mzimba and two other men a lift along the N4 Road in Bronkhorstspruit.
The three men then hijacked Thobela before shooting him and leaving his body in a ditch where it was later discovered by members of the community.
Thobela’s vehicle was recovered in Witbank.
According to the provincial police spokesperson, Colonel Dimakatso Sello, assistance from members of the public led officers to trace and arrest Mzimba for murder and hijacking.
The case was led by investigating officer Detective Sergeant Dennis Tshepo Mahlangu, attached to Trio Crimes in the Tshwane district.
Mzimba was convicted for robbery with aggravating circumstances, for which he was sentenced to 15 years. The court further sentenced him to life imprisonment for the murder and ordered the sentences to run concurrently.
Police have appealed to members of the public to be vigilant at all times when on the road. They have also urged people not to hitch hike and accept lifts from people they do not know, while motorists are urged to refrain from giving strangers lifts, as they could be placing their lives in danger.
Provincial police commissioner, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela welcomed Mzimba’s sentence and commended Mahlangu for the meticulous investigation during the case.
Mawela also lauded members of the community for coming forward with information that assisted with the investigation.