Durban – The man convicted of killing Avoca father Kelly Chetty in the presence of his two children in a botched hijacking has been jailed for life.

Spamandla Buthelezi, 30, was sentenced moments ago in Durban High Court.

Chetty was killed in a botched hijacking on May 31, 2018, while purchasing vegetables on Prince Mhlangane Road, Avoca. His 12-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son were in the car.

In addition to the life sentence, Buthelezi, was jailed for an additional 136 years for crimes dating back to 2016.

His sentence will run concurrently and he will eligible for parole after 25 years.

He was convicted on 11 other charges which included house breaking with intent to steal, robbery with aggravating circumstances, two counts of attempted murder, two counts of murder, unlawful possession of firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition.

According to State indictments, Buthelezi and other his co-accused entered the Lighthouse Fresh Produce grocery store on May 31, 2018, and robbed Don P Phiri, Thandeke Makhaya and Krishna Moodley at gunpoint, making off with cash, cellphones and cigarettes.

In order to make good on their escape Buthelezi and his co-accused approached Chetty who was seated in his car, a Golf 7, a short distance away from the store.

Chetty was shot and Buthulezi and co-accused failed to take the car.

Post-mortem results revealed that Chetty died as result of a multiple gunshot wounds to the chest.

Buthelezi and his co-accused then went to another car, a Toyota Yaris and at gunpoint ordered Ramalingum Chetty and Sanjay Rajcoomar out of their car before hijacking the vehicle.

The next day, on June 1, 2018, members from SAPS spotted the Toyota Yaris in KwaMashu in Durban and attempted to stop the car.

The accused opened fire on SAPS members and a gun battle ensued.

Two co-accused were fatally wounded and three firearms were recovered.

Buthelezi was charged for the murder of his co-accused Nkosingphile Lindelani Mdletshe and Mhlanunzima Nzama.

Police recovered two 9mm semi-automatic pistols and five rounds of ammunition.

State Advocate Denado McDonald welcomed the sentence saying despite a previous conviction, the accused persisted with criminal activities.

“The sentence imposed is just.” POST