Siblings’ killer ‘devious’

2011-12-13 00:00

CUNNING and conniving with a devious mind were the words Acting Judge Karthy Govender used to describe convicted murderer Mario Tsware before reading him his sentence.

Tsware will spend the rest of his life behind bars, with a double life sentence for two counts of murder and a further 30 years for two counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Tsware last month killed Dennis Roberts (77), who had been his lover, at a Durban hotel and Roberts’ sister, Crystal (71), at her house.

Govender rejected the argument by Tsware’s lawyer, Vijay Sivakumoor, that the murders were not premeditated and said the likelihood of rehabilitation was pure speculation.

Tsware stood without reaction as he listened to his fate.

“The families of the deceased will have to live with the anguish of losing not one but two loved ones for the rest of their lives, and it is clear that you have at no stage shown remorse for the crimes you have committed in any of the affidavits,” Govender said.

Given that Tsware had a meaningful relationship with the deceased, “who bought you a flat, furnished it and was prepared to move in and meet your family, your actions show that the motive was pure greed”.

Family and friends of the Robertses attended the hearing for the first time yesterday.

Crystal’s daughter-in-law, Shelly Gerrard, told The Witness she is pleased with the sentence.

“I have to thank the police for their superb work in bringing him to justice,” she said.

Asked to describe Tsware’s relationship with the family and the deceased, she said he was a smart person and seemingly genuine.

“I guess you never really know someone and we have learnt that the cruel way,” she said.

Tsware, on the eve of his birthday, was reunited at Formula One hotel with Roberts, whom he met through a gay online dating service. There he and an accomplice, Sthe Ximba, strangled him with an electric cord.

A day after Roberts’s body was discovered, his sister was found murdered in a similar way in her Greenwood Park home.

It was found that Crystal had in her possession her brother’s bank card, for which Tsware knew the PIN code.

Tsware said he is prepared to co-operate with police to bring Ximba to book.

He said Roberts had six condoms and R300 on him, which he and Ximba took. They stole his car and went to Crystal’s house where they used the same cord to strangle her. Tsware said Ximba stabbed her because she was still alive.

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