A 43-year-old man in South Africa has been handed two life sentences for the killing of an elderly woman, who was also his neighbour in Inchanga, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).

The case against Nkosiyezwe David Gwala concluded in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Tuesday, 17 November 2020.

The court how Gwala carried out the senseless attack on 62-year-old Thandi Magwaza.

The incident is said to have played out On 14 December 2019. Magwaza had reportedly left her home at KaDenge and would never be seen again.

“A missing persons docket was opened at Inchanga SAPS by her family for investigation and a search was conducted,” said South African Police Service (SAPS) spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele.

It would not be long before authorities would make a gruesome discovery.

“On 16 December 2019, her lifeless body with no visible injuries was found in the bushes by the members of the community and the police. An inquest docket was opened for investigation,” Mbele further said.

“A post-mortem was conducted and revealed that the victim was raped and strangled to death.

The inquest docket was changed to charges of murder and rape. The docket was assigned to a dedicated investigating officer who investigated the matter further”

According to police, an investigation led them to the woman’s neighbour, whom at the time, had already been placed under arrest.

Gwala made a number of subsequent court appearances and bail was denied. He remained behind bars until he was sentenced.

The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Khombinkosi Jula praised the investigating officer.

“This is evident that a well prepared docket was presented at court to secure a successful sentence,” he said.

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