One of the gangsters who attacked an elderly couple on their smallholding, bludgeoning the man to death and gang-raping the woman, was yesterday sentenced in the Pretoria High Court to two terms of life imprisonment.
Judge Mahomed Ismail sentenced Sibusiso Christopher Zwane, 25, to two life terms and a further 21 years on charges of murder, robbery, rape, damaging property and the unlawful possession of a firearm.
Fellow gangsters Thomas Mashaba, 29, and Andries Mohloki, 34, who were convicted only of robbery with aggravating circumstances and maliciously damaging property, were each sentenced to 18 years.
Zwane was linked to the rape of the elderly Pretoria North woman through DNA and to the murder through a confession.
Mashaba and Mohloki were linked to the robbery and destruction of the victims’ car – which was taken away from the scene and set alight to destroy fingerprints.
Judge Ismail said the two could count themselves lucky the court had given them the benefit of the doubt as far as involvement in the murder and rape was concerned.
State counsel VLM Davhana said the State was considering an appeal against their acquittal on the charges.
The judge said there were numerous aggravating factors in the case, including that the robbery had been planned.
None of the accused had shown remorse, and they were motivated by sheer greed.
“Society cannot condone behaviour where innocent victims are murdered and abused during robberies.
“Not a single day passes when ordinary citizens are not robbed in their homes and businesses, often with fatal consequences,” Judge Ismail said.
By Ilse de Lange The Citizen