Today marks two years following Emmanuel Sithole, a Mozambican national who was murdered in cold blood in Alexendra.
The gruesome murder was amid at the height of xenophobic attacks. Mthinta Bhengu and Sifundo Mzimela took cigarettes from Sithole without paying. When he demanded payment, they attacked and killed him.
The murder was documented by Sunday Times journalist, James Oatway. The photojournalist helped transport the victim to a hospital where he succumbed to his wounds after the attack.
Bhengu, accused number 1, was handed a 17-year sentence, while Mzimela, accused number 2, was given 10 years.
Magistrate Lucas van der Schyff told the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court that Sithole’s murder was “senseless and brutal” as he was not armed at the time.
He said the minimum sentence did not suffice for Bhengu, who already has a criminal record, is a danger to society and should be removed from society for a long time. The court may deviate from the minimum sentence if there are compelling reasons to do so.
Accused number 3, a minor, was released on probation, and under supervision on condition that he completes probation requirements and reports to the court. If he does not comply, he must appear in court again and could be imprisoned. He had been convicted of assault and robbery in the incident.
Today we remember the pain that evoked emotion when the murder was documented. Rest in peace Emmanuel Sithole.