Three life terms for prison escapee

Mandisi Makhanda, 37, who shot and killed three members of the Nomqonde family in Mafini village in Ngqeleni, will spend the rest of his life in prison after being sentenced to three life terms by the Mthatha High Court.

On top of this sentence, an additional 15 years was added for robbery and possession of a firearm with intent to injure.

According to a statement from the spokesperson of the Eastern Cape National Prosecuting Authority, Luxolo Tyali, Makhanda who is a native of Cumngce in Libode, escaped from Rooigrond Correctional Facility in the North West province where he was serving his life sentence for murder.

When he escaped from this North West prison back in 2018 on October 4, he stole a correctional officer’s gun.

On the same day, Makhanda went to Ngqeleni to the Nomqonde family’s business where he found customers sitting drinking alcohol and ordered them to lie down. After that he went straight to the cash register and demanded money at gunpoint from Novangeli Nomqonde (36) who handed it to him, after which he shot her, and she died immediately. Fezile Nomqonde (38) was also shot and killed together with Zalisile Nomqonde (44).

Makhanda was arrested in town in Mthatha at the Circus Triangle shopping mall while still carrying the murder weapon.

The police were assisted by information from the customers who were present when Makhanda shot the three family members.

The NPA has accepted the verdict. It also applauded the prosecutor, the team of detectives as well as Brigadier and Head of Organised Crime in the province, Duduzile Ngculu.