Zuma’s pilot found guilty of murder

Former presidential pilot Pule Ramolefi was sentenced on Tuesday in the Alexandra Magistrate’s Court in Johannesburg to 15 years in prison for murder.

The court heard that Ramolefi, who joined the South African Civil Aviation Authority in 2003, has been pilot to “the country’s dignitaries… as well as the number one citizen of South Africa [President Jacob Zuma]”.

He stabbed and killed Sibusiso Buthelezi, who had an affair with his wife.

Ramolefi offered several alternatives to evade prison time, including offering the Buthelezis compensation for their loss, paying a fine and establishing a trust fund in the deceased man’s name.

He also committed to offering aviation training to underprivileged young people.

These offers were turned down by Nqobi Buthelezi, who told the court how the “brutal death” of his younger brother still haunted his elderly parents.

After the sentence was handed down, the Buthelezis showed signs of relief. The case was postponed to Thursday when Ramolefi is expected to apply for leave to appeal.