Saturday, May 10, 2008
SA duo jailed for life
Two South Africans who overstayed their British visas were jailed for life on Friday for the murders of two men strangled during a series of violent muggings.
Gabriel Bhengu (27), and Jabu Mbowane (26), will be deported after serving life sentences.
Judge John Goldring said at a sentencing hearing at Wolverhampton Crown Court in central England that evidence had clearly shown that Bhengu and Mbowane had carefully selected vulnerable targets.
"You selected your victims and each was in some way vulnerable," the judge told the two men.
"Some were women walking home from the shop laden with bags. One was an older man smoking his cigar at the end of an evening."
"Two — those whom you murdered — were on their way back home from the pub. They, you knew, were affected by drink."
The defendants, who live in Wolverhampton, admitted mugging Andrew Owen and Neil Williams, but denied they intended to cause either man serious harm.
The judge said he was convinced the pattern of violence in each offence had been the same.
"You, Bhengu, the taller and stronger man, grabbed the victim from behind about the neck in a headlock and squeezed," he said.
"You, Mbowane, stole the victims' belongings, in some cases by rifling through a pocket or pockets of the victim."
Bhengu and Mbowane had entered Britain legally, but their visas had expired by the time they carried out the killings and five other robberies in April last year.
They were convicted of murder and robbery Thursday following a five-week trial. A life sentence normally lasts around 15 years.
Now where are all those British activists who were at the forefront of the anti-apartheid movement?
Could it just be that because these two thugs happen to be black that there is such a deafening silence?
I can assure you that if they were white South Africans this would be pasted all over the British press - just as any white on black violence is highlighted as 'racism still rife in SA' whilst black on white violence is just 'violent SA'.