The sentencing of Julius Lucas, who was found guilty of the murder of actor Sibusiso Khwinana, was handed down late on Friday at the high court in Pretoria.
The court sentenced the convicted killer to life imprisonment and a further 23 years imprisonment.
Lucas, a Tanzanian international who stabbed the actor to death in 2019, was found guilty of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and contravening the immigration act.
He was also sentenced to 15 years for robbery and eight years for contravening the Immigration Act after it was found that he was in South Africa illegally, the SABC reported. The court also ordered that Lucas be deported back to his country of origin after serving his direct sentence.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) welcomed the life sentence handed down, as NPA spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana called Lucas an “opportunistic robber and this should not be seen as a robbery gone wrong and he had intentions of killing Sibusiso.”
She went on to say that Sibusiso’s father said in his victim impact statement, “it was painful to bury a child unnecessary because of greed.” The judge said Lucas showed no remorse and he robbed South Africa of a talent.
Khwinana was popularly known for his role in the award-winning movie Matwetwe. Khwinana, who starred in the film as Lefa, was stabbed to death in a robbery at the corner of Pretorius and Steve Biko streets in March 2019.
Khwinana and Lucas allegedly wrestled for the phone, before Lucas stabbed him with a sharp object in his upper body.
Khwinana and his friend were understood to have been attending a screening of the movie before the fatal robbery occurred.
According to the post-mortem report, Khwinana died as a result of a stab wound through the heart.
Lucas has been behind bars since his arrest on 8 March 2019 and during the trial, he had pleaded not guilty to all the charges.