South Africa News

Guard sentenced for shooting innocent man during KZN July unrest

A security guard has been sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for shooting an innocent man dead during the July unrest in 2021.

Joel Fenton Pillay, 38, was found guilty of murder and sentenced in the Scottburgh High Court.

According to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Pillay had been driving along Ireland Street in Verulam on July 12 when he came across Lindani Mthethwa.

“Pillay, who was driving a marked vehicle owned by a security company, turned his vehicle around and drove back towards Mthethwa. When he was alongside Mthethwa he lowered the window of his vehicle and shot him in the head. Mthethwa died on the scene,” said NPA spokesperson, Natasha Ramkisson-Kara.

She said advocate Thabani Buthelezi led the State’s case and shared the testimonies of two people who witnessed the shooting. The State also relied on the tracking device installed in Pillay’s company vehicle.

“Buthelezi also submitted a Victim Impact Statement compiled by Mthethwa’s sister, and facilitated by Court Preparation Officer Thandeka Nadi Mofokeng. In her statement, the woman said Mthethwa was a responsible and hard working person. She said that her family has been financially and emotionally affected. She added that the incident was traumatic, as she still has flashbacks,” Ramkisson-Kara said.

The court deviated from the minimum sentence of life imprisonment as Pillay was a first-time offender.

“Pillay was sentenced accordingly, and the court found him unfit to possess a firearm. The NPA commends the work done by the prosecution and other stakeholders in securing the conviction,” Ramkisson-Kara said.


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