The two men who blamed each other for the murder of an elderly woman from Port Elizabeth were both convicted of the murder.
Sizwe Jika and Junior Lungisa sat far apart in the dock on Thursday morning in the Port Elizabeth High Court while Judge Elna Revelas delivered a verdict.
Both pleaded guilty to the murder of Anne Smith, 86, of Martha Street on Kamma Park, as well as housebreaking with intent to steal and robbery with aggravating circumstances.
She turned away from the original charges of housebreaking for the purpose of robbery, as she believes there is no evidence that the accused knew anyone would be home.
On the charge of the murder, Revelas applied the dolus eventualis principle – a murder that was not planned, but where the individual could have foreseen that he / she would cause someone’s death.
The judge believes the two accused, who acted with a common purpose, should have provided that their crime could have led to the death of someone.
The state said Jika and Lungisa broke into the main house on May 28, 2018, where Smith lived in an apartment on the yard.
When Smith caught up with the robbers in the main house, she was repeatedly hit with a blunt object. The robbers fled with a bag full of goods, while Smith was left dead in a pool of blood.
Smith was hospitalized before being discharged on June 7. However, she was re-admitted two days later after she fell and banged her head against the floor. She died in hospital on June 27.
In her ruling, Revelas pointed out that medics gave evidence in the trial that her head injuries, which she sustained during the house robbery, caused complications that eventually led to her death.
She suffered meningitis, pneumonia and septicemia due to her head injury.
After the conviction of both, Adv. State prosecutor Ismet Cerfontein read out the two previous convictions.
Lungisa was found guilty of willful damage in 2016.
Jika has 15 previous convictions of housebreaking. He is also currently facing the murders of Kelly Bain, 26, and Anne Ferreira, 83, of Port Elizabeth.