Domestic worker, two accomplices jailed for strangling homeowner

18 June 2019 - 17:40 By Nico Gous
Hemrani Bijral was strangled after she asked her domestic worker to help her sell her belongings. File photo.
Hemrani Bijral was strangled after she asked her domestic worker to help her sell her belongings. File photo.
Image: Gallo Images/ IStock

A 65-year-old woman who had planned to pack up and fulfil her dream to live with her children was killed after asking her domestic worker for help to sell her furniture.

Now her domestic worker, Happiness Mkhize, 35, and her two co-accused, Doctor Vitus Madida and Sibongiseni Gumbi, have been convicted of robbery and murder at her home in Shallcross, KwaZulu-Natal, in May 2017.

Hemrani Bijral was strangled and her house ransacked after she asked Mkhize for help to sell her belongings.

“Bijral had decided to sell her home and belongings with her dream of relocating to live with her children. This dream was short-lived because the accused had gathered the night before to plan the murder,” police spokesperson Col Thembeka Mbele said on Tuesday.

“Police made a breakthrough when the investigation revealed that the domestic worker, Happiness Mkhize, had enlisted the help of [Doctor Vitus] Madida and [Sibongiseni] Gumbi to murder the deceased.”

The Durban High Court sentenced Madida and Gumbi on Friday to life imprisonment and 15 years for robbery. Mkhize was sentenced to 10 years for murder and 15 for robbery.


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