Pietermaritzburg - A hitch-hiker was jailed for an effective 20 years by the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Friday after confessing he killed a driver who picked him up.
The killer, Bongani Mdunge, 39, of Perdekop in Mpumulanga, said he was “roughly manhandled” and robbed of R30 by the driver, Petros Siphapone, when he pulled up near Volksrust in August this year.
Siphapone also demanded R80 from Mdunge, which he said he did not have.
Mdunge said he hit Siphapone's head three times with a wheel spanner.
He bled, fell down, and died.
Mdunge said he was in a strange place and drove off in the vehicle.
However, police officers stopped him and told him they had been alerted by a tracker that the vehicle had been stolen.
Mdunge said he and Siphapone had drunk alcohol during the trip.
Judge Isaac Madondo found substantial and compelling circumstances which freed him from imposing a prescribed life term.
Mdunge admitted previous convictions for robbery, housebreaking, and theft.
Madondo said that if Mdunge had not learnt from his previous convictions and continued breaking the law he would rot in jail.
He also received five years' jail for the theft of the vehicle. This sentence will run concurrently with the 20 years. - Sapa