Luvuyo Jonas told the court that the Bible instructed him to kill Andile “Lulu” Ntuthela
The family of Andile “Lulu” Ntuthela are relieved that his killer has finally been found guilty of murder and handed a prison sentence.
On Wednesday, the Uitenhage Regional Court sentenced Luvuyo Jonas, the man who admitted to brutally killing the 41-year-old member of the LGBTIQ+ community, to life in prison. After numerous delays and postponements in the trial, he pled guilty to the crime on Tuesday.
Ntuthela, also known as Lulu, went missing in March 2021 when he went out to visit a friend. His remains were discovered a few days later in a shallow grave at Jonas’s house in KwaNobuhle, outside of Uitenhage, in April 2021.
It’s reported that Jonas strangled, stabbed and beat Ntuthela before mutilating his body and setting it on fire. The murderer explained that he was motivated by his “religious beliefs.”
Jonas claimed to be mentally unwell and was sent for medical assessment by the state, after which he was found to be fit to stand trial.
In his sentencing, the judge added five years to the minimum sentence of 15 years due to aggravating factors in the crime, including that it impacted the broader LGBTIQ+ community.
Members of the LGBTIQ+ community and other supporters gathered at Uitenhage Regional Court for the sentencing on Wednesday
OUT LGBT Well-being, which monitored the case and attended the trial, welcomed the guilty verdict and sentence.
“We are satisfied with the judgment,” commented Sibonelo Ncanana, OUT’s Human Rights Coordinator, “in particular that the judge acknowledged the harm that cases of queerphobia like this cause to the community, and that the courts should continue to take such cases seriously.”
He has no doubts that the murder was a hate crime and was connected to Ntuthela’s LGBTIQ+ identity. “Jonas mentioned that before killing Lulu, he read the Bible and the Bible instructed him to commit the murder. He also expressed his beliefs that ‘people like this’ should be killed.”
Ncanana expressed hope that “this case shows that there might be light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to getting justice within South Africa.”
He added that Ntuthela’s family are grateful that the matter has come to a close and that their loved one had received some measure of justice.