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EX-soldier gets life for shooting spree

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He received a sentence of 170 years on 12 counts of attempted murder, kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances and possession of an illegal automatic rifle and ammunition

A SANDF rifleman stationed at 8SAI in Upington in the Northern Cape, who went on a rampage in January 2017 after suspecting that his girlfriend had cheated on him, has been handed a hefty sentence of 170 years.

Thembinkosi Ngcobo, who admitted in court that he drove from Upington to Durban intending to kill his girlfriend, Nontokozo Mbambo, and himself, was sentenced in the Durban High Court to life imprisonment for the killing of his girlfriend’s sister three years ago.

He received a sentence of 170 years on 12 counts of attempted murder, kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances and possession of an illegal automatic rifle and ammunition.

KwaZulu-Natal Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza has welcomed the lengthy sentence handed down to the former soldier.

“Ngcobo accused his girlfriend of cheating on him and then decided to drive down to Durban to kill her, but could not find her in the house, but found her relatives, including his girlfriend’s sister whom he shot and killed. He also assaulted the woman’s mother,” a statement issued by Khoza said yesterday.

“We applaud the police who managed to arrest this man and stop him in his murder spree. His sentencing should send a strong message that in this country we are not going to tolerate women abusers.

“The hefty sentence handed down by the court brings hope that no killer will walk scot-free in the country after gender-based violence incidents. Ngcobo left the family of the deceased broken. He took service firearms and travelled down to Durban with an intention to kill,” Khoza said in the statement.

The fact that he drove almost 12 hours from the Northern Cape to Inanda in Durban was a clear indication that he wanted to end the life of his girlfriend.

“He had a clear intention of killing his girlfriend, but all went wrong when he could not find her; instead he killed her sister. Driving all the way from the Northern Cape he could have changed his mind. This man’s action to kidnap the girlfriend’s brother and try to coerce him to search for his sister indicates that he had no mercy at all,” Khoza said.

Ngcobo’s sentencing brought hope to many families who had lost trust in the justice system.

“As we continue to fight gender-based violence we want to see the teeth of justice biting very hard. The conviction of this man paved the way for the successful conviction of all those involved in gender-based violence, rapists, and murderers,” Khoza said.