3 jailed for life for Cape farm murder

2012-09-20 20:32
Alberto Costa. (Rapport)

Alberto Costa. (Rapport)

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Cape Town - Three men were jailed for life on Thursday for the murder of Stellenbosch grape farmer Alberto Costa, the National Prosecuting Authority said.

Spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said the sentence was handed down to Mfundiso Yese, Simamkele Mralaza and Cedrick Vusumzi Mphakathi by the Western Cape High Court in Cape Town.

They were convicted last week of shooting dead Costa on his veranda at the Cloetesdal Farm on 18 November 2011.

Costa and his wife Zelda were woken by a silent alarm that morning and the farmer went to investigate.

He returned to the bedroom and took his shotgun from the safe, telling his wife there were intruders.

His wife heard shouting, followed by gunshots. She found his body lying on the patio, with multiple gunshots to the neck and torso.
Ntabazalila said the men had been linked to the scene by forensic evidence.

Yese's fingerprint was found on a knife at the scene and Mralaza's blood was found on an outside wall.

Mphakathi's girlfriend testified that he had told her he was at the farm with the men on that night. She was found to be a credible witness.

A fourth accused Vizicelo Madolo entered into a plea bargain and was also found to be a credible witness. He was sentenced to 20 years in jail.

The court found the accused planned the crime and acted in a common purpose.

According to Ntabazalila, Judge Andre le Grange said on Thursday that the accused did not show remorse or take responsibility for their actions.

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