Former security guard Joel Fenton Pillay sentenced to 20 years for murdering Lindani Mthethwa during July 2021 unrest

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Former security guard Joel Fenton Pillay sentenced to 20 years for murdering Lindani Mthethwa during July 2021 unrest

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The Scottburgh High Court has sentenced Joel Fenton Pillay (38) to 20 years imprisonment for the murder he committed in July 2021, amidst the looting and public violence that occurred in various parts of KwaZulu-Natal.

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On 12 July 2021, the deceased, Lindani Mthethwa, was walking on Ireland Street in Verulam, when Pillay drove past him. 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.

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In the state's case, Advocate Thabani Buthelezi, led the testimony of two eyewitness who saw the shooting; as well as details of the tracking device that was installed on the vehicle that Pillay drove on the day of the incident.

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 hardworking person.

She said that her family has been financially and emotionally affected. She added that the incident was traumatic, as she still has flashbacks.

In sentencing Pillay, the court deviated from the minimum sentence of life imprisonment, citing that he was a first offender when he committed the offence. Pillay was sentenced accordingly, and the court found him unfit to possess a firearm.

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The NPA commends the work done by the prosecution and other stakeholders in securing the conviction.


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