ASIPHE Ndikinda will spend the next 25 years in jail for the kidnapping of elderly Catholic nun Sister Mary Tacke.
Mthatha High Court Judge Lusindiso Phakade yesterday ended the nearly two-year-long trial and sentenced Ndikinda after giving judgment on Wednesday, when he acquitted him of murder.
Phakade sentenced Ndikinda to 18 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances, two years for unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of ammunition and five years for kidnapping, all equivalent to 25 years of imprisonment.
His co-accused in the crimes, Masixole Ndlebe, was acquitted earlier this year.
The nun’s body was found on 16 June 2014 in a stream in Libode, a day after being hijacked outside a children’s home in Norwood, Mthatha.
An autopsy revealed that the US-born nun died of head injuries she sustained when her car rolled while being driven by her hijackers. She was said to have still been alive when her body was thrown into the stream.
In his sentencing, Phakade said Ndikinda didn’t see the need to seek medical assistance for the dead woman, and chose to leave her for dead. He declared the offender unfit ever to possess a firearm.
“The offender was in possession of a firearm with an erased serial number. He was prepared for the purpose of committing the crime,” said Phakade.
Sister Dionys Ngcobo said: “We are happy with the sentencing although it won’t bring back Sister Mary’s life, but we’ll now find closure.”