Chaotic scenes at R3.50 murder case sentencing

2015-03-12 10:22

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Pretoria - Three men found guilty of murdering an elderly couple in Soshanguve for R3.50 have been sentenced to life imprisonment, in what was described as a chaotic sentencing at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

Upon the announcement of the sentencing, one of the guilty men tried to escape the glare of cameras by crawling beneath courtroom benches, while another was involved in a tug-of-war between his lawyer and court orderlies, Pretoria News reported.

The family of the victims Katrien and Chris Jooste, who were gunned down by the three men outside a Spaza shop for R3.50 and a toy gun in November 2011, hugged each other as a sentence of two life terms for all three men were handed down.

While the killers pleaded for mercy, Judge Malopa-Setshosa told the trio that the murder was ‘heinous’ and ‘despicable’, and carried out on a couple simply trying to make an honest living.

She added that young people do not have the licence to terrorise the community, and must suffer the consequences of their actions.

Chris Jooste and his wife Katrien, who were both in their 60s, were shot dead while delivering stock to a spaza shop in Soshanguve.

Jooste was shot in the stomach while on his way back to his bakkie.

His wife was shot in the chest when she tried to defend herself by spraying pepper spray on her attackers.

She managed to phone her daughter after they were shot. The couple died while on their way to hospital.

Their attackers got away with R3.50 in cash and a toy gun.

Guilty verdict

Judge Lettie Malopa found Victor Mbuyseni Simango, Solomon Solly Selekane and Collen Peter Molapo - all in their 20s - guilty of the murders in December 2014.

They were also convicted on a charge of robbery with aggravating circumstances and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

Simango was in addition convicted of robbing the same couple of R500 in cash while they were delivering stock in Soshanguve 16 days earlier.

A fourth accused, Nkomo Romeo Mathebula, is still being sought by the police after escaping from custody at the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate's Court earlier this year.

Malopa rejected the three accused's protestations of innocence to the cold-blooded murders as lies and fabrications.

She said all of them had known what was going to happen and conspired to rob the Joostes.

Getaway driver’s testimony

She accepted the evidence of an accomplice, Gift Tuuba, who had acted as the getaway driver in Selekane's blue bakkie that day.

Tuuba testified for the State in exchange for possible indemnity from prosecution.

He testified that Simango had given him instructions to the scene and had told him to move the bakkie nearer to the scene after the other three left the bakkie and they heard shots.

Tuuba had acted as getaway driver after the three shooters jumped into the bakkie.

Selekane denied that he had been involved in the shooting, but said he had seen Mathebula shooting "the white man" and Molapo shooting the woman.

When he asked them why they had shot the couple, Molapo said the woman had sprayed him with pepper spray.

Three witnesses who saw the incident testified that they had seen three men approaching the couple and shooting them before fleeing in a blue bakkie.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  crime

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