Family upset with 23-year sentence for man who decapitated their daughter

'What about the one who is dead?'

18 May 2021 - 15:58 By ernest mabuza
Sibongile Zenzile was stabbed and decapitated. 'What about the secondary victims?' her stepfather Zamelani Ncancashe asked after sentence was handed down. File photo.
Sibongile Zenzile was stabbed and decapitated. 'What about the secondary victims?' her stepfather Zamelani Ncancashe asked after sentence was handed down. File photo.
Image: Supplied

The stepfather of a woman who was stabbed repeatedly and decapitated is not happy with the effective 23-year jail term imposed on her murderer on Tuesday.

Zamelani Ncancashe was speaking after the high court in Johannesburg imposed the sentence, instead of life in prison, on Elhadji Adjama Kebe for the murder of Sibongile Zenzile.

The court also sentenced Kebe to two years in prison for violating her corpse by chopping off her head. The court ordered the sentence of violating the corpse to run concurrently with the murder sentence.

Kebe, 33, pleaded guilty to killing Zenzile on April 25 2019. He severed her head and placed it in their fridge. He was arrested the next day.

Judge Avrielle Maier-Frawley said though there were aggravating circumstances, such as that he cut her head off, there were also mitigating factors which permitted her to impose a less severe sentence than the prescribed sentence of life for premeditated murder.

These included the fact that Kebe was a first offender, had shown remorse for his deeds, spent two years in prison awaiting trial, pleaded guilty, and there were prospects for his rehabilitation.

Speaking after sentence was passed, Ncancashe said he was not happy.

He questioned whether the interests of the accused overshadowed the interests of the victim and her family.

“There are those who are strong and there are those who are weak. The whole idea of us having law is that even the weak are protected,” he said.

Ncancashe said the sentencing of Kebe had, however, brought closure for the family.

He said one of the factors taken into consideration by the court in imposing a less severe sentence was that Kebe was young.

“What about the one who is dead? What about ... the late Sibongile? The interests of the victims are being overshadowed. They were not taken into consideration though there were aggravating circumstances.”

Ncancashe said Zenzile's mother and his wife Buyiswa Ncancashe were in poor health after the murder.

“What about the interests of the secondary victims? Are they overshadowed? Her mother is in hospital. Her health deteriorated after the killing of our daughter.”

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