The three killers of artist Clinton de Menezes are due to be sentenced at the High Court in Durban, South Africa today. The trio murdered 43-year-old de Menezes during a home invasion at a New Year’s Eve party between 2013 and 2014.
News 24 reported that Siyabonga Khoza, Lungani Ngidi, and Bongani Makhathini fatally shot de Menezes at the house of his friends Simon and Amanda Malpas, where he had been visiting on holiday with his family.
The three have been found guilty of murder, one count of attempted murder, housebreaking, robbery, and aggravating circumstances.
A mobile phone, a laptop, and a handbag were reportedly stolen during the robbery.
De Menezes was hailed as a hero for bringing his wife and young daughter to safety in a bathroom, before returning to the aid of his friend, Simon Malpas, who was grappling with the intruders.
Describing the incident in January 2014, Malpas told the Telegraph “I was hanging on for dear life. Clinton must have come up behind me. I had no idea he was there and the next thing I hear a loud bang. I don’t know how they missed me. I was standing right in front of them.”
The artist’s gallerist Antonio Capelao called the killing “tragic,” adding, “his career was really taking off and his sales were amazing. His work was sitting in New York next to work by famous artists like the Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor.”
The artist’s work was exhibited around the world, and was included in an exhibition at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
He also enjoyed considerable commercial success after winning a major commission in to create a large-scale installation in the Norman Foster-designed London headquarters of financial services provider PriceWaterhouseCooper in 2011.
De Menezes was born in Johannesburg and moved to the UK in 2007.
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