The first of five men accused in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial, Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison in a separate matter.
Sibiya appeared before the Tembisa magistrate’s court for sentencing on Thursday. Drugs and ammunition charges. He was arrested in May 2020 and charged with dealing in drugs and possession of ammunition.
In his previous appearance in December, he was found guilty of the possession of drugs but was acquitted in a charge for dealing in drugs. He was also found guilty of possession of illegal ammunition.
Lack of remorse worrisome
On Thursday, defence lawyer Morgan Masegela requested the court to take into account certain factors during its judgment. This include the fact that the accused’s children reside with his parents in KwaZulu-Natal.
The court heard that Sibiya supports all the children, as their mothers were all unemployed. The defense urged the court for leniency.
However, the magistrate appeared unimpressed with the defence’s approach. He questioned whether they will solely emphasise the gravity of the charges without addressing any expression of remorse from the accused in their submission.
Prosecutor Xolani Khumalo contended that the accused has displayed no remorse throughout the trial. He emphasised a public outcry for protection and underscores that the accused is not a first-time offender.
Court urged to send a strong message
He has asked the court to send a strong message against wrongdoing, considering the interests of society. In response to the submissions, the magistrate emphasised that the court’s deliberations were limited, with the defence mainly focusing on Sibiya being a repeat offender with five children.
He noted that the other factor the court has been asked to consider includes that Sibiya is a 38-year-old man with a formal education level of Grade 11.
Additionally, he previously operated two car wash businesses, yielding a monthly income of R6,000.
“This is all the court has to consider. There was nothing about you showing remorse or accept the sentence. Nothing has been placed in court that you asked for forgiveness,” said the magistrate.
Non-law abiding citizen
According to the magistrate, in a brief period, Sibiya has swiftly portrayed himself as a non-law-abiding citizen. He says he is a danger to society.
“But with all due respect sir, I have the belief that you can change.” Sibiya was concomitantly sentenced to five years direct imprisonment for the possession of drugs charge. Another a five-year term has been imposed for animation, and he is declared unfit to possess a firearm.
Both these sentences will run concurrently with the current 12 year sentence. He has shown a desire to appeal. Meanwhile, he is due back at the Pretoria High Court on Monday for the Meyiwa trial.