March 31 2010 at 05:46PM
The Pietermaritzburg High Court on Wednesday convicted a Durban man of killing KwaZulu-Natal hoteliers Siegfried Schadle and his wife Ingrid.
Muntukayise Ngubane, 35, was found guilty of murder and aggravated robbery after he admitted planning to rob them.
The owners of Wartburger Hof were shot and killed during a robbery in November 2007. Ngubane's co-accused, Funokwakhe Nwane, 35, was acquitted of all the charges.
Judge Kate Pillay said the cellphone calls between Nwane and the gang members who went to rob the luxury German-style hotel in Wartburg were not sufficient evidence to convict him.
Ngubane's claim he warned his gang not to shoot because they would not resist when being robbed was rejected. Pillay said he was an unmitigated liar.
Ngubane had earlier told the court that his warning not to shoot, and his instruction that fellow gang members unload their guns, were ignored by fellow gang member Msizeni Biyela who shot the Schadles.
According to the indictment Ngubane worked at the hotel but left in January 2007.
Evidence was that Siegfried was in a dining room when he heard Ingrid scream as a gun was pointed at her. He ran to her at the front counter, grabbed a gang member and was shot in the head. Ingrid tried to press the panic button but was shot in the chest.
Ngubane will be sentenced on April 7. - Sapa