Yesterday at the Cape Town High court, Judge Nape Dolamo sentenced Akhona Ntsokotha to 25 years imprisonment for killing Mpendulo Bam over his red T-shirt.

Ntsokotha also shot Bam’s friend Lukho Mazimba with an unregistered firearm.

The 25-year-old Ntsokotha, a father of two, entered into plea and sentencing agreement with the state when he was confronted with astonishing evidence.

The specifics of his December 2015 crime spree, in the Stellenbosh area of Khayamandi, are blood-curdling. He admitted to the court that he took the T-shirt from Mazimba which belongs to Bam and refused to give it back.

According to court papers, on December 5, Mazimba and Bam found Ntsokotha wearing the T-shirt and “removed it from his body”.

Ntsokotha went after them and found them at Mazimba’s home where he opened fire and hit Mazimba in the hip and a bullet scratched Bam’s ear, they fled to sought for medical assistance.

Seven days later, he went after them again, he pointed a gun at Mazimba and threatened to kill him. The next day he shot and killed Bam at the Khayamandi taxi rank using a semi-automatic firearm.

In aggravation of sentence, the prosecution said: “[Ntsokotha’s] criminal conduct beginning from 2009 shows a gradation to more violent criminal conduct. [He] has a total disregard for the sanctity of life. The brazenness with which [he] conducted himself is itself aggravating as he persisted with his conduct knowing that the T-shirt did not belong to him. The deceased lost his life for a mere T-shirt.”

Bam’s brother, Mfuneko, said he welcomed the sentence. “I am satisfied with the sentence. He is exactly where he belongs.”