Nigerian man sentenced to life imprisonment for murder of South African artist

The Pretoria Magistrate’s Court in South Africa has served a 37-year-old Nigerian man, Onyeghani Ekene Dumkele, a life term for killing a Limpopo artist, Shaun-Doughlas Chabalala, 23. 

Spokesman for Sunnyside police, Captain Daniel Mavimbela, said Chabalala was robbed inside the seventh-floor residential unit and then forcefully thrown out of the window, resulting in his immediate demise. The captain said:

“Shortly after he was convicted, a 37-year-old foreign national, who murdered a multitalented up-and-coming Limpopo artist, Shaun-Douglas Chabalala, 23, was handed a life sentence in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Monday afternoon.

“Additionally, a 15-year jail term was imposed on Onyeghani Ekene Dumkele for aggravated robbery, plus a 12-months suspended sentence, on condition that he is deported to his native country after he completes his concurrent sentence for murder and aggravated robbery.

“Chabalala and his friend, Given Mzamane, were lured to the infamous Tambotie block of flats in Sunnyside, east of Pretoria, in May 2018, through a fake advertisement of a luxury camera.

“The two arrived at the populated block of flats, with the intention of purchasing the advertised camera.”

Mavimbela said that “they carried a cash amount of R14,000 on them, only to be led into an ambush inside an apartment where Dumkele lived on the seventh floor. Upon entering the apartment, the victims were attacked by a group of men.

“Mzamane testified that he forced his way out of the door and manage to escape. However, it was not before he had witnessed two men, who had participated in the robbery and attack on himself and Chabalala, lift Chabalala and threw him out of the window from the same apartment.”

The artist succumbed to injuries from the attack and the fall and died at the scene.

“Dumkele was arrested almost 15 months after the murder, by Sunnyside police detective, Captain Simon Motolla, who had decided to abandon a wedding celebration that he had attended in Mpumalanga after he was tipped-off on the whereabouts of the accused,” said Mavimbela.

“Dumkele was sniffed out from the ceiling inside a house in Pretoria West by a police dog, following the enlistment of the services of a K-9 Unit.”

During his arrest, Dumkele blamed the murder on his missing co-accused and fellow countryman, Obienna Ofoegbuliwe, who has since absconded after he was granted bail of R3,000.

“That testimony was rejected by the court since he knew that, among others, the police had been searching for him, had not disclosed the identity of the killer prior to his arrest and was easily pointed out by Mzamane during the identification parade,” said Mavimbela.

Sunnyside police station commander, Brigadier Matshidiso Kgoadi, has expressed approval over the court verdict.

Kgoadi saluted the dedicated team of investigators and the prosecutor who worked tirelessly to arrest Dumkele and ensure his conviction.

Shaun-Douglas Chabalala