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Four Khayelitsha killers back in court

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Four men convicted of killing a Khayelitsha woman and hiding her body in a drain are expected in the Western Cape High Court for sentencing proceedings on Monday.

Bongiwe Ninini, 20, died in July 2015 after she was strangled, taken to an open field, assaulted, hit with a spade and probably a beer bottle as well.

The court found on Tuesday that Phumulani Nyewu, Masimthembe Solontsi, Melikhaya Mgushelo and Thabiso Balithoba had acted together, with a clear intention of killing her.

Nyewu had testified that he and Ninini dated about two years before she was killed.

He said she had still visited him from time to time after they broke up.

The night of her murder, they apparently argued about visiting him, as he did not want a possible confrontation with another woman he was expecting.

It was his version that Solontsi had strangled her in his room, and was assisted by Mgushelo and Balithoba to carry her outside. He claimed he only helped them roll her in a sheet and had left her alive in a cement drain.

Balithoba claimed that he saw Nyewu and Solontsi kill her in the room. He testified that he was coerced into the events that followed because he was scared of them.

Solontsi denied having any part in the murder. Mgushelo did not testify in his defence.

All but Mgushelo were linked via DNA to pieces of evidence, but he was found to have actively associated himself with the crimes by remaining silent.

They were not found guilty of kidnapping as there was no direct evidence that she was deprived of freedom of movement and kept against her will.

[Source: News24]
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