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Murderers of Bangladeshi shop owners in Newcastle convicted

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Immigrant shop owners welcome life sentences for murderers of Mosharaf Hosain and Limor Mir

Photo of a man at his shop door
James Melesa, from Ethiopia, shows a steel cage he has installed at his container shop to prevent robbers from breaking in. “I have been attacked two times, in September and in April this year, but luckily in a second attack my neighbours responded quickly to my cries,” said Melesa. Photo: Sibusiso Mdlalose
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Immigrant shopkeepers in Osizweni, Newcastle, say they are relieved that two men have been convicted for murdering two Bangladeshi businessmen in the township in October last year.

Osizweni police spokesperson Captain Sipho Nkosi said Mongezi Sibaya, 28, and Mbongiseni Zulu, 25, were given life sentences for the murders of Mosharaf Hosain and Limor Mir, and 15 years each for housebreaking with aggravating circumstances at Madadeni Regional Court on 15 August.

Sibaya and Zulu were arrested in October along with Mavis Nkosi, who was arrested for defeating the ends of justice. She was found washing the blood-stained clothes of the murderers. Nkosi, however, died of natural causes in December.

Hosain, 33, and Mir, 25, worked as partners in a rented store in Osizweni Section C. They were stabbed to death and had their throats slit during a robbery in the early hours of 25 October 2018.

The brutal murders followed a spate of violent robberies of immigrant-owned shops in Osizweni, leaving immigrant shopkeepers from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Somalia and Ethiopia worried about their safety. Many closed their shops.

Hocine Uddin, of Bangladesh, said, ”We have been living in fear since the violent robbery attacks began around August last year … We are satisfied with the sentences given by the court. They truly deserve the sentences, because they were cruel and heartless to kill our brothers is that brutal manner.”

Uddin, who has lived in Newcastle for six years and has three children, said he was on the verge of closing his rented store, but after learning about the murder suspects’ arrests he changed his mind. “Following their arrests, the robbery attacks subsided in this township,” he said.

Ward 8 Councillor Vukile Kubheka said, “We condemn violent robbery attacks against immigrant business people in our area … We have worked hand-in-hand as community members with the local police to stop the scourge, which unfortunately claimed the lives of two Bangladeshi businessmen … We are happy that the attacks have stopped, and the perpetrators have been convicted and got the sentences they deserve.”

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TOPICS:  Crime Immigration

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