Ricochet News

Six East London hitmen handed lengthy jail terms for reign of terror that left five dead

Nov 29, 2017
Six East London hitmen handed lengthy jail terms for reign of terror that left five dead

The acting National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, also known as the Hawks, Lieutenant General Yolisa Matakata has welcomed the sentence and applauded Hawks investigators for securing maximum sentences to four hitmen.

The East London High Court on Thursday last week handed Ntsikelelo Manani (39) to four life sentences plus 20 years imprisonment; Vuyani Sibanda (49) to life and 30 years imprisonment; Thabiso Mini (34) received a life and 26 years imprisonment; Makhaya Qwala (51) was sentenced to 35 years imprisonment; Makhaya Qwala received 45 years imprisonment; Isaac Piri (76) was sentenced to 35 years imprisonment, and Ntsikelelo Manani (39) got 35 years behind bars.

According to Hawks spokesperson, Captain Anelisa Feni, "The six were convicted for their reign of terror, which left five people dead as well as an armed robbery in 2010. 

"Sibanda the alleged ringleader, hatched the murder of Ntuthuzelo Makeleni (55), Thozama Tenge (29), Nontsikelelo Sibamba (67), Captain Sandile Duka (61) and Mshicilili Nditha (46). 

"Makeleni was murdered in a plot organised by his wife and Sibanda whilst Manani and Piri were the trigger men. 

'Following the slaying of Makeleni, Sibanda organised two more hit jobs. Under Sibanda’s instruction, Manani and Piri executed Thozama Tenge (29) for alleged witchcraft in Mdantsane and Captain Sandile Duka at his house in King William's Town."

Captain Feni said that a further two innocent victims were killed, Nontsikelelo Sibamba (67) accused of witchcraft and Mshicilili Nditha  (46) from Fort Beaufort.

"Nditha had a loan business. As if that was not enough, in June 2010 Manani, Piri, Magasana and Qwala were positively linked to an armed robbery in Quigney, East London," she added.

The Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime unit of the Hawks, were tasked to investigate the matter and in August 2010 and they managed to arrest all six men in pre-dawn raids.

“We welcome the sentencing and pleased with the conviction. The sentence should serve as a serious deterrent to criminals that crime does will never pay.  My sincere appreciation to all the members who worked tirelessly to attain this successes. 

“Kwazulu Natal is a serious challenge however we are working tirelessly to uproot those who are involved with the violence in that province.  Those trigger people can run but ultimately we will get them. We will continuously endure and collaborate with other law enforcement agencies to take criminals to prison,” concluded Lieutenant General Matakata.