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Serial taxi driver killer sentenced to 50 years in jail
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Serial taxi driver killer sentenced to 50 years in jail

South Africa — High Court judge Justice Martin Makonese sentenced an additional 25 years in jail to 23-years-old Thulani Proficient Msipa after fatally stabbing, carjacking, and robbing $6 from a 32-year-old taxi driver.

According to police, the suspect specifically targeted local taxi drivers in his crimes. Mr. Msipa allegedly hired, stabbed, robbed or attempted to rob vehicles in Bulawayo. Furthermore, the suspect already victimized six taxi drivers including 32-year-old Witness Zindonda.

The court heard that Mr. Msipa approached Mr. Zindonda after spotting his car parked at a service station in Bulawayo’s Central Business District. Moreover, the suspect hired the taxi driver to drive him to Nugget Mine in Matobo with a hidden intent to rob him.

Upon approaching the destination, however, the suspect asked Mr. Zindonda to stop the car. Mr. Msipa then asked the driver to walk through the nearby forest with him to collect the taxi fare at a nearby homestead.

However, after walking a distance of about 60 meters, the accused pulled out a knife and stabbed Mr. Zindonda on the right shoulder, right arm and on the back. 

“The deceased ran away and the accused person returned to the car, which was locked and he smashed a windscreen to gain entry,” Prosecutor Khumbulani Ndlovu said. “He got into the car and took $6 and a Nokia N1280 cellphone and fled leaving the vehicle at the scene.”

The abandoned car was recovered by detectives from the CID Vehicle Theft Squad but Mr. Zindonda could not be located. The following day, authorities arrested Mr. Msipa after robbing another taxi driver.

A relative found Mr. Zindonda’s body three weeks later in a state of advanced decomposition in the Matopos area.

Msipa was convicted of murder with constructive intent by Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Martin Makonese. Moreover, he described the murder as henious.

“He showed no mercy in the manner he committed the murder when he fled from the scene leaving the deceased bleeding to death,” Judge Makonese said in court.

Furthermore, Judge Makonese said Mr. Msipa’s moral blameworthiness is high and ruled that the murder was committed to aggravating circumstances.

“The sentence should be deterrent and also rehabilitative to allow the accused person to reflect on his conduct.”

Mr. Msipa will now serve nearly 50 years in jail.

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