South East Wales

Second man jailed for murder of Welsh couple in South Africa

Thulani Moses Mthembu Image copyright The Witness, Media24
Image caption Thulani Moses Mthembu had pleaded not guilty to the murders

A second man has been given two life sentences for the murders of a Welsh couple in South Africa.

Roger and Christine Solik's hands and legs were tied and they had pillow cases over their heads when they were thrown off a bridge into a river.

They had emigrated from Abercynon, in Rhondda Cynon Taff, in the 1980s.

Thulani Moses Mthembu, 43, was convicted at Pietermaritzburg High Court of their murder, kidnapping and robbery.

Mthembu, who had denied all the charges, was sentenced to an additional 15 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances and 10 years for kidnapping.

Xolani Brian Ndlovu, 38, was jailed for life last month after admitting the same charges.

Image copyright Family picture
Image caption Roger and Christine Solik emigrated to South Africa in the early 1980s

Ndlovu had told the court he and a companion kidnapped the couple then decided to "get rid" of them.

The Soliks were found after being attacked at their home in the KwaZulu-Natal area - about 100 miles (160km) from Durban - on 17 February.

Mrs Solik, 57, was found dead in the river 45 miles from their home. She had drowned but had also been stabbed and suffered other multiple injuries.

The body of her husband, 66, was discovered the next day in the same river. A post-mortem examination found he probably died of asphyxiation.

Director of Public Prosecutions in KZN, Adv Moipone Noko said: "We are very pleased with the conviction and sentence of the accused. It is an appropriate sentence that sends a message of zero tolerance to lawlessness."

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