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A man who shocked his village when he hacked his brother with an axe has been sentenced to 22 years in prison. The dead man had visited his younger brother’s home in October 2014 to try and resolve an issue which involved his child. The two had started arguing and the younger brother, Thifhelimbilu Ratshilumela (48) took out an axe and hacked him on the head.

The axe couldn’t be removed as it had gone deep into his head. He died a month later in hospital.


Ratshilumela, from Tshidzivhe outside Thohoyandou in Limpopo, went into hiding after the incident.

Thifhelimbilu Ratshilumela
Thifhelimbilu Ratshilumela got 22 years in prison for hacking his brother with an axe

But with the help of residents, cops managed to find him at Vhufuli Village, not far from Tshidzivhe.

After the murder Ratshilumela was said to have gone mad, walking around with an axe threatening to chop anyone who came near him.

On Wednesday the Limpopo High Court sitting in Thohoyandou sentenced him to 22 years in prison.

Police spokeswoman Constable Avhafarei Tshiovhe praised the team that worked around the clock, tracing the killer.

Tshiovhe further commended the justice system for the sentence.

“This sentence will serve as a prevention to others with thoughts of committing such crimes.

“I’d also like to thank the community for the good work in blowing the whistle against the killer. This is the type of partnership we always expect from the community,” she said.


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