Durban – A 26-year-old man who claimed his anger was out of control when he opened fire on his family has been handed a lengthy jail term.
Lwazi Siyabonga Qwabe was sentenced in the Pietermaritzburg High Court to 25 years behind bars for the murder of his cousin, Phelelani Qwabe.
In August this year, the Qwabe family had gathered at a family homestead in Nkanini, Eshowe after their grandmother’s funeral, when an argument broke out.
The family had gathered to divide blankets they had received from mourners who attended the funeral.
Qwabe’s father allegedly took more blankets than other members of the family and an argument broke out.
In his guilty plea, Qwabe said he began arguing with his aunt, Bonisiwe Mtenga.
“I was very angry that she insulted my father.”
Qwabe said he left and went to his father’s homestead to fetch a firearm.
He came back to the family homestead and opened fire through a window, aiming at his aunt Bonisiwe.
However his cousin, Phelelani, 25, who was standing behind Bonisiwe, was wounded in his head and chest.
In addition to murder, Qwabe was convicted on attempted murder charges and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.
Acting Judge Eric Zaca sentenced Qwabe to 25 years’ imprisonment for murder, 10 years for attempted murder, 5 years for unlawful possession of firearm and three years for unlawful possession of ammunition.
The sentences will run concurrently, which means an effective jail term of 25 years.