The Durban High Court has handed down hefty sentences to three men found guilty of kidnapping and murdering 47-year-old Sipho Vusi Sithole.
Sihle Mchunu, 25, Sibusiso Mathaba, 26, and Mfihlakalo Zibisi, 29, were convicted last week following Sithole's death in July 2018.
"On July 15, 2018, Sithole's daughter arrived at her home in Groutville and found the house ransacked. She could not find her father. She reported the matter to KwaDukuza police and a missing person's inquiry was opened for investigation," Captain Nqobile Gwala said in a statement on Sunday.
Sithole's vehicle was found abandoned in the area a week later and his body was found in the Uthukela river.
The missing persons inquiry was subsequently changed to a murder and kidnapping case.
"Following a rigorous investigation the investigating officer arrested three suspects a few weeks later. He was convinced that he had gathered enough evidence to secure a conviction," Gwala added.
The accused remained in custody throughout the trial.
"Mchunu and Mathaba were each sentenced to 25 year's imprisonment for murder and five years' imprisonment for kidnapping. Zibisi was sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment for murder and five years' imprisonment for kidnapping," Gwala concluded.