Three men have been sentenced to lengthy terms of imprisonment for burning a KwaZulu-Natal man alive after they discovered that he had a relationship with one of their girlfriends, according to police.
Sphamandla Nelson Nxumalo, 29, was sentenced to 25 years in jail for murder and 12 years for robbery last week. His accomplices, Lindokuhle Jonas Nkosi, 22, and Andile Mzala Dlamini, 27, were sentenced to life imprisonment for murder and 15 years for robbery.
The Pietermaritzburg High Court ordered that the sentences should run concurrently.
Nhlonipho Madinane, 34, was still alive when the men set him alight on November 12, 2018 while he was still alive.
"The body of a man was found along the old Iscor Road, near a farm at Utrecht, severely burnt. His legs and hands were tied up [and] his mouth was gagged," KZN police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said.
She said a team of Utrecht detectives and the Amajuba Task Team identified the perpetrators and arrested them in Madadeni and Utrecht.
'Tied up with a hose pipe'
Gwala said that during the course of the police investigation, it was established Madinane had been drinking with two of the accused between Madadeni and Utrecht "when they turned against Madinane and strangled him".
They drove to a farm where they met the other accused.
"They tied him up using a hose pipe and curtains to gag his mouth. They drove to a service station in Utrecht where they bought petrol using the deceased's cash and drove back to the farm where they set him alight."
She said they robbed him of his vehicle and other items, including a laptop, tablet, cellphone and money.
"The accused sold the cellphones and took the vehicle to Vlakfontein where it was sold to an unknown male. The post mortem established that the deceased was still alive when he was burnt."