The Gauteng Division: Pretoria High Court has sentenced the killer of Matwete actor Sibusiso Khwinana to 23 years direct imprisonment in relation to the stabbing the actor to death during a robbery in 2019.
The National Prosecuting Authority has also welcomed the sentence handed down by the court. In February 2022, Tanzanian national Julius Lucas was found guilty of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and contravening the immigration act.
Yesterday he made an appearance in court, and Judge Portia Phahlane, ordered that Lucas should be returned to his country of origin after serving his sentence and the judgment was to be made available to the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, the Minister of Home Affairs, and the National Director of Public Prosecutions.
Lucas was also declared unfit to possess a firearm. Lucas stabbed Khwinana to death in March 2019. The actor had just finished watching a screening of the movie “Matwetwe”, where he played a lead role. As Lucas waited outside the mall for a cab and took pictures, he grabbed the actor's phone and fled.
Khwinana chased him to get his phone and little did he know he would meet his demise. Lucas stabbed him with a sharp object while they were struggling with the phone. An ambulance was called for medical attention, but unfortunately Khwinana did not make it and he was declared dead on the scene.
According to the post-mortem report, Khwinana died as a result of a stab wound through the heart. Lucas has been behind bars since his arrest on 08 March 2019 and during the trial he had pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
When Judge Phahlane was delivering her judgment she said that Lucas "Had “robbed the entertainment industry and South Africa as a whole, of great talent. Lucas was a visitor in South Africa, therefore as a visitor he needed to abide by the rules of the country even though he is illegal in the country. The only appropriate sentence for him was that of imprisonment because he showed no remorse and had no respect and understanding of the importance of taking an oath, because he lied several times during his testimony.”
After the sentence Lucas, through his attorney, brought an application for leave to appeal his conviction and sentence. The state successfully opposed the application stating that Lucas had no prospects of successful appeal. The Judge dismissed both applications.
Advocate Jeffery Nethononda said "Lucas was an opportunistic robber and this offence should not be mistaken as a robbery gone wrong, but that Lucas had a clear intention to kill Khwinana." He also informed the court that Lucas had two previous convictions of drug possession in 2015 and 2016. Therefore, he asked the court to impose a sentence that will send a message to the community.
The slow progress in the sentencing had been taking a toll on Khwinana's family, but finally justice has been served. The family has had to endure pain since his brutal murder. According to Daily Sun, the family spokesperson Benjamin recently said that the delays prevented the family from mourning his death.
In addition to losing Sibusiso's sister last year, his mother was also ill. He said they feared they were going to lose her as she was not feeling well.
Image Cred: Twitter