AK47 farm killer gets life

2009-06-12 00:00

HIGH Court Judge Vivienne Niles-Duner yesterday sentenced Mzamo Wiseman Jali (36) to life plus a total of 26 years’ imprisonment on charges arising from the “callous and cruel” murder of Cramond farmer Andrew Main in 2007.

Main was shot dead with an AK47 rifle as he alighted from his car on September 23, 2007. The assailants rifled his pockets for keys to the house and safe.

The judge ordered that Jali must serve 25 years in prison before he can be considered for release on parole.

Jali has previous convictions for housebreaking, possession of a firearm and ammunition and robbery.

Niles-Duner said the use of an AK47 rifle, which is a “weapon of war”, to murder Main was “absolutely outrageous”.

“You did not merely use it to induce submission, but you blew his body away,” she said.

The judge said the attack was another of “far too many farm murders that have become a scourge in our country”.

She said these attacks are perpetrated by thugs, like Jali, who are motivated by greed and the desire to get their hands on money and guns to commit more murders and robberies. The damage to the economy could not be counted.

“With each one of these attacks we don’t even know how many people pack their bags and leave the country,” she added.

The court was told that as a result of Main’s death, his vegetable farm was wound up and 55 farm workers and a foreman lost their jobs.

Niles-Duner said the courts had to do something to stop what she termed the “tsunami of crime sweeping the country and striking fear into the hearts of citizens”.

Ron Gevers, a farmer and close friend of Main, said the sentence has brought closure to him and to Main’s family.

Jali’s cousin, Mthokozisi Jali, is already serving a 24-year jail sentence for the murder after he pleaded guilty. He gave evidence for the prosecution in this trial. Main’s other assailant, Lucky Ntombela, was killed.

Gevers said he was “heartened” by the judge’s remarks during the sentencing.

Jali was convicted on charges of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and possession of three firearms and ammunition that were stolen from Main’s gun safe.

ingrido@witness.co.za

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