Confidence of older victims in the justice system restored

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An elderly couple’s confidence in the country’s justice system was restored this week when the second suspect who hijacked them was sent to jail.

The cogs of justice have turned for an elderly couple in Durban

Suleman “Solly” Kathrada, 84, and his wife Kogilamba, 77, were assaulted, before the hijackers left in the couple’s Honda Brio, which was parked outside the David Landau community hall in Asherville. .

When the hijackers threateningly made their way towards his elderly wife to retrieve their car keys, Kathrada, a Durban-based karate expert, knew he had to protect her.

Despite being 80 years old, still recovering from spinal surgery, and relying on crutches to help his balance, Suleman Kathrada’s fighting instincts have kicked in.

But his efforts failed when he was punched in the face and fell to the ground in the September 2019 incident.

However, the Kathrada said their confidence in the country’s justice system was restored when one of their attackers was sentenced to 13 years in prison this week.

Sanele Makhubo Mtshali, 23, who pleaded not guilty to robbery with aggravating circumstances, was found guilty and sentenced by magistrate Sophie Reddy of the Durban Regional Court.

This after, in August 2020, Khanyisani Mngadi confessed to magistrate Fariedha Mohamed his involvement in the diversion of the Kathradas.

Mngadi was jailed for eight years, including two years suspended for five years, provided he did not reoffend.

Vishalan Moodley sued both cases, including the theft of the couple’s cell phone and R5,000.

Mngadi and Mtshali were arrested a day after the incident after Kathrada’s car was seen in the Inanda area.

The vehicle was stopped and searched, and the keys to the car were found in Mtshali’s possession, while Mngadi had the couple’s cell phone, which had a separate tipex dot on a button.

Kogilamba did the tipex tagging so that her husband could identify the “hang up” button. The phone also contained pictures of his 80th birthday.

Their affairs were separated when Mtshali maintained his plea of ​​innocence.

“I am very happy with the outcome of the court. Especially since we had to make many trips to justice at a time when the Covid-19 virus was raging, ”said Kogilamba.

She said on the day of the incident, they were heading to the car from the lobby where her husband had run a karate dojo (gym) since 1974.

Kathrada was slightly behind when the hijackers approached Kogilamba, ordered him not to shout, hand over the keys and indicated that they had a gun.

“I knew I had to comply and pulled out the keys,” she said.

As one of the hijackers rushed to retrieve the keys, Kathrada shouted, “Don’t touch my wife,” before hitting with a crutch.

“My husband was assaulted and fell to the ground. They hit me in the face with the butt of a gun. My teeth were damaged and my face was cut, ”she said.

Despite being elderly and vulnerable, Kogilamba said the hijackers showed no respect and no mercy.

However, the hijackers taking their cars were not his biggest concern.

“I was like, oh my gosh, do I go through the hassle of getting my husband’s back fixed one more time,” she said.

Kogilamba explained that Solly was still recovering from back surgery at the time. Her recovery and getting back on her feet became a struggle for her.

“Doctors warned he should never fall. Because of her age, they would not perform another operation on her back, ”she said.

The attack was a huge setback as the functioning of his back had not improved.

“I still have a trauma of my own. Every time I drive I get nervous and wonder if anyone is following me.

“Therefore, we pursued this case. We didn’t want other old people to go through this trauma, ”said.

Magistrate Reddy was impressed with the couple’s clear and concise recollection of the couple’s events and disagreed with how Mtshali’s version changed on a few occasions, particularly when she was cross-examined by Moodley.

Mtshali basically insisted that he was not involved, and his alibi was that he was home with his mother that day.

During proceedings this week, Moodley suggested to Reddy that Mtshali’s mother, who was present, be called to testify and provide more clarity.

Reddy agreed that the mother’s testimony would help make a fair decision as she was his alibi.

When asked if her son was with her on the day of the incident, the mother replied “no”.

The mother recalled that Mtshali left their home at the time because she continually berated him for his wandering ways.

SUNDAY TRIBUNE


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