117 Years Handed Down to Convicted Murderers of Elderly Couple in Ottery Home Horror

March 6, 2024
Riedwaan 85 and Rugeya 82 Addinall were murdered by their gardener | Report Focus News
Riedwaan (85) and Rugeya (82) Addinall, victims of the unthinkable tragedy

In a significant development, the Western Cape High Court has handed down a combined sentence of 117 years to Gcinilelitha Ngcobelothe, a longtime gardener, and his accomplice Lwazi Ntsibantsiba. The duo was convicted for the brutal murder of 82-year-old pensioners Rugeya and Riedwaan Addinall in their Ottery home on January 5, 2019.

Gardener Gcinlelitha Ngcobelothe, donning a yellow jacket, and his co-accused Lwazi Ntsibantsiba made a courtroom appearance yesterday, nearly six months following their conviction by Judge Brian Hack. [Photo credit: Mahira]
The elderly couple’s lifeless bodies were discovered strangled in their residence, a crime scene that bore the marks of a violent struggle. Disturbingly, medical experts revealed that the victims had suffered severe bodily trauma, further unveiling a horrifying detail: rat poison pellets were forcibly shoved into Rugeya’s mouth.

Ngcobelothe, who had been employed as the couple’s gardener for several years, and his co-accused Ntsibantsiba faced a grueling trial marked by their attempts to shift blame onto each other. The court proceedings, spanning six months, finally culminated in their conviction by Judge Brian Hack.

The sentencing brought its own share of revelations. Ngcobelothe received life imprisonment for each murder, accompanied by an additional 15 years for the charge of robbery with aggravating circumstances. Judge Hack, in his sentencing judgment, highlighted Ngcobelothe’s aggressive and intolerant behaviour towards the State, noting unsubstantiated claims of conspiracy and observing the defendant’s agitation during the trial.

Ntsibantsiba, 20 years old at the time of the crime and unfamiliar with the victims compared to Ngcobelothe, was sentenced to 20 years for each murder and 12 years for robbery. While Judge Hack acknowledged Ntsibantsiba’s youth, he emphasized the lack of remorse exhibited by the co-accused, deeming their roles in the heinous murders equally reprehensible.

The court ordered the sentences to run concurrently, resulting in Ngcobelothe facing an effective 25 years behind bars, while Ntsibantsiba will serve 20 years. This resolution, while providing a semblance of closure for the grieving loved ones of the Addinall couple, serves as a stark reminder of the brutality that unfolded within the confines of their home.

The sentencing hearings illuminated the chilling specifics of the crime, emphasizing the atrocious nature of the actions perpetrated by individuals the victims once placed their trust in. The justice system’s resolute response, committed to holding the culprits accountable, resonates as an enduring testament to the ongoing pursuit of justice and the complex journey toward closure for the Addinall family.