09/06/2008 18:11 - (SA)
Pietermaritzburg - A man who killed centenarian Herbert "Bob" Downs by stabbing him six times in his home in Richmond, KwaZulu-Natal, was jailed on Monday for life by Pietermaritzburg High Court.
Sibusiso Mbuje Dlamini, 29, of Msinga, pleaded guilty to the murder and to stealing a TV set from Downs, a garage owner and engineer, on the night of March 1 2007.
Judge Jan Hugo said the fact that Dlamini stabbed the centenarian with a weapon that penetrated his chest cavity six times overrode mitigating factors - that he pleaded guilty, co-operated with police, saved the State from conducting a case, had been drinking, had been in custody for 15 months and had not planned to murder when he broke into widower Downs's home.
Hugo said the young Dlamini could easily have overpowered the old man.
In his guilty plea, Dlamini said he had gone to Richmond to find a job, but had failed. On the day of the murder he and a man named Rasta drank alcohol and Rasta suggested that they burgle Downs's house.
Dlamini said: "Rasta told me that no one would be home. I broke a window and went into the house. I took a television set outside and went inside again.
Stabbed him several times
"I took a knife from the kitchen and went into a bedroom. While I was trying to open a wardrobe I heard movement and when I turned I saw a white person behind me.
"I was shocked as Rasta had told me no one was there. I was scared and I stabbed him several times and he fell. I could feel he was still breathing.
"I felt sorry for injuring him and put him on his bed and I went out and took the television set."
At a taxi rank he sold the TV set to Khehla Ndlela for R150.
That afternoon, he was arrested.