Family get closure after killer gets life sentence

2012-09-03 00:00

ST MICHAEL’S resident Ria Coetzee’s family said they finally have closure after her killer, Lungisa Longazane (23), received a life sentence for her murder and 15 years’ imprisonment for robbery with aggravating circumstances. Longazane was sentenced in the Ramsgate high court on Friday by Judge Zaba Nkosi.

Coetzee’s son, Bertle Coetzee, said the family was satisfied with the sentence.

“We can now get closure. We are glad that this is all over. It will not bring our mother back, but at least these criminals are off the street,” he said.

Longazane’s co-accused, Njabulo Nyawose (26), had previously pleaded guilty to the charges and received the same sentence.

The pair robbed and strangled Coetzee in her St Michael’s home in April.

Passing sentence, Nkosi said Longazane had pleaded not guilty and shown no remorse for his actions.

“You wanted to have it your way no matter what the cost to others … you strangled the victim … you did not have to kill her in order to rob her … you killed her to get away with the crime,” said Nkosi.

Longazane had previously been convicted of housebreaking in 2008. He was sentenced to three years in prison, wholly suspended for five years.

“You could have used the opportunity to better your life, but you progressed to criminal behaviour near the end of a suspended sentence.”

He said in his view, Longazane had intended to kill Coetzee and unfortunately had succeeded.

After Nkosi sentenced Longazane, an application for leave to appeal the sentence was rejected by Nkosi on the grounds that he did not think that another court would give him a different sentence.

• news2@feveronline.co.za

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