In South Africa, the Pietermaritzburg High Court has sentenced 18-year-old Noris Russell Mutambaziko to 20 years imprisonment for the murder and robbery of his stepmother, Caroline Chenai Mubuakure in September 2019.

Mutambaziko, who pleaded guilty through a plea agreement, committed the offences after he was told by a “prophet” John Katsiru that he and his siblings were experiencing life problems because of her.  

Katsiru claimed that the stepmother had put muthi in his father’s food which caused them to fight very often. Katsiru also told him that if he did not kill the stepmother, he and his father would soon die.

Mutambaziko said Katsiru had also told him to kill his four-year-old brother. He had asked Katsiru if there was no other way to resolve their problems, at which point Katsiru got angry and said there was not.

“Mutambaziko added that he believed Katsiru because his previous predictions had materialised,” said National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson in KwaZulu-Natal Natasha Kara.

On the day of the murder, Mutambaziko went to his stepmother’s home as his father was not there. She hugged him and invited him in.

“He then stabbed her in her neck. When she fought back he stabbed her again. He then went in search of his little brother who he found in the bedroom. He did not kill his brother but returned to the lounge to find Mubuakure still alive. He then slit her throat and stole her cell phone and left the house,” added Kara.

He informed the prophet that he had killed his stepmother but failed to kill the boy.

He told the court that Katsiru was furious and asked him for R2 000 to “appease the bad spirits.” He also wanted the money from the sale of the stolen cell phone.

“Mutambaziko gave him the money and confessed to the police a few days later. Katsiru was also arrested and is awaiting trial,” said Kara.

Senior State Advocate Mbongeni Mthembu handed in a victim impact statement facilitated by the Court Preparation Officer Babongile Thobekile Chuene and compiled by Chinotsika Mutambaziko (the father).

In his statement he said that his wife was a cheerful and loving person who assisted him in his business. Her death was a huge loss for their family as she had a good relationship with his son (the accused) and she was even teaching him to drive.

Mutambaziko was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for robbery and 20 years imprisonment for murder and according to the NPA, the sentences will run concurrently.

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