November 15 2007 at 08:45AM
By Sharika Regchand
Two men seemed unfazed on Wednesday when sentenced in the Pietermaritzburg High Court to two life terms for the murders of Elaine Anderson and Patricia Kippen during botched hijackings.
Murderers Sibusiso Duma, 24, a taxi operator and owner, and Simphiwe Khesi, 33, his conductor, said the killings in Woodlands on October 14 were as a result of their wanting a vehicle to go home in.
Both appeared uninterested throughout court proceedings, and when KZN Judge President Vuka Tshabalala delivered sentence they laughed.
"They're dead now. What are they worrying about?" said one of the men to the other.
This affected the emotional family members of both victims even more.
Anderson's daughter, Anthea King, said the death penalty should be brought back. The Anderson and Kippen families said the men told the court they were remorseful, but their conduct did not reflect that.
In their pleas, the men said they were at a tavern drinking. At 7pm, when they decided to go home, they realised that there would be no taxis available, so they had to hijack a vehicle.
At an intersection in Woodlands, they noticed Kippen's car, which was stationary at the stop street. Duma fired a single shot at it.
The car accelerated across the road and crashed into a pillar at a tavern and the patrons rushed to the car so the men could not take it. Instead, they took Kippen's cellphone.
They then came across another car, parked at the side of a road next to a church.
Anderson activated the hazard lights and tried to drive off.
Duma fired two shots at her and the car veered out of control and crashed. When they went to steal it, it was locked and they were distracted by another car.
In sentencing, Tshabalala agreed with senior state advocate Candy Kander's submissions that the aggravating circumstances outweighed the mitigating factors.
Kander had said that when violent crimes like that occurred, the functioning of society was affected. She said Kippen was a mother of two.
Anderson was a retired journalist and very involved in church work.
Tshabalala sentenced both men to 15 years for attempting to rob Anderson and sentenced Duma to 15 years for robbing Kippen and Khesi 20 years, in addition to the life sentences.
This article was originally published on page 4 of The Mercury on November 15, 2007