Shakila Singh: Justice served, distraught sons won’t return to South Africa

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#Durban: The murderers of Musgrave mother and retired schoolteacher Shakila Singh have finally been handed their life sentences bringing some closure to Singh’s family on Friday – 28 September 2018.

Mteki – who’d worked as a
domestic worker for Singh is said to have planned the 2016 robbery with her
then boyfriend who recruited to men to commit the crime.

Amon Ngongi and Ally Jumar
Abdullah were sentenced to 15 years for robbery, as was Nonjabulo Mteki who had
been Singh’s trusted domestic worker for years. Mteki was the person who the
Singh family believed to be the mastermind behind the robbery.

Shakila Singh Murder accused
Tanzanians Ally Jumar Abdullah, left, and Amon Ngongi, after being sentenced in the Durban High Court for the murder of Shakila Singh, with her former domestic worker Nonjabulo Mteki. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency(ANA)

Singh, a retired teacher,
was found dead in her bedroom at her Musgrave Gardens home on February 29, 2016.
She had duct tape around her face and hands, and was bound with plastic cable
ties.

Sentencing brings justice to Singh’s murder

Judge Bert Laing said he
found no compelling reason not to hand out the minimum sentences and said that
Mteki was not found guilty of murder because he gave her the benefit of the
doubt. However, she had assisted the murderers and afterwards helped in the
effort to cover their tracks.

While she (Mteki) is local,
Ngongi and Abdullah are both Tanzanians who claimed to be refugees.

“This country provided you
with the opportunity to start your lives over again. In return you have taken
the life of someone who made this possible and contributed to the fiscus to
make to have this opportunity,” the judge said.

Earlier this year, Mteki
was acquitted of Singh’s murder but was found guilty of robbery with
aggravating circumstances. Ngongi and Abdullah were convicted of murder. 

Arguing in mitigation of
sentence, Mteki’s attorney, Nhlanhla Mnculwane told the court that she was
driven by the temptation of money.

Mnculwane told the court to
consider that Mteki never intended for Singh to be killed, as it was not part
of the plan. 

In a probation officer’s
report, it was revealed that Singh took Mteki in and employed her after
she fell pregnant while in matric. The report says Singh was caring and
compassionate towards Mteki and even paid her child’s school fees.

Arguing in aggravation of
sentence, State Prosecutor Vasi Chetty said Mteki had abused and taken advantage
of Singh’s trust, adding she and her co-accused had shown no remorse for their
actions.      

Shakila Singh’s sons too distraught

Chetty said Singh provided
for Mteki’s children but her own sons have been left distraught by her murder
and have left the country and have no desire to return.

Singh’s son, Yashmeir, who
lived with his mother in the secure complex at the time of the murder, had
joined his younger brother, Amil, a medical student in Mauritius just after the
murder.

Reacting to the sentences, Singh’s sister, Jayshree Maharaj says Mteki is still not remorseful.

“I felt that Jabu was
the clever, calculating one. Although, she did the dirty work behind the
scenes, she was careful enough not to get her fingers soiled in the actual
murder. That’s why she got away with it. I feel that she was just as evil as
the perpetrators. In fact, even more so,” Maharaj said. 

Shakila Singh Murder
Shakila Singh’s family members in the Durban High Court, as sentencing proceedings got underway. Photo: Nushera Soodyal.

Sources: IOL, East Coast Radio



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