Gardener convicted of killing ex-boss
Pretoria - A Mamelodi man was convicted on Thursday of killing his former employer during a violent house robbery in Waverley in Pretoria three years ago.
The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria found Petrus Moloko, 26, guilty of the August 2009 murder and robbery of 64-year-old Pretoria building contractor Andries Pretorius.
Pretorius's finger was cut off and he was viciously attacked with an empty whisky bottle after getting up that morning.
He was bound with his own ties and was left to bleed to death on his bed while his attackers ransacked his house, loaded goods into his car and fled.
Msimeki said it was clear that the attackers had been motivated by greed.
They had used maximum force, had foreseen that their victim could die if unattended and had proceeded regardless.
They never bothered to check on their victim and did not care if he lived or died, he said.
Moloko's DNA was linked to a cigarette stub found on the murder scene.
The judge rejected his evidence that the stub must have been left there when he smoked while working inside the house much earlier.
The court accepted the evidence of self-confessed killer Teko Radebe, 26, who was sentenced last year to 22 years' imprisonment after confessing to his role in the murder.
Radebe testified that he and Moloko planned and executed the robbery. They started plotting at a tavern soon after Moloko told him that Pretorius owed him money because his head had been injured on the job.
He said they had removed a window pane at the back of the house, but found Pretorius asleep behind a locked door when they entered.
They sat in the dining room drinking whisky until Pretorius woke up because their aim was not "to go there and run away".
A struggle ensued and Pretorius was hit on the head with an empty liquor bottle and was repeatedly stabbed.
Radebe said their victim ran to his room and tried to defend himself with his firearm, but the two robbers attacked him again and tied him up before ransacking the house.
He could not explain when or how Pretorius's finger was cut off.
Afterwards they went to a dealer, who stripped the car and paid Radebe a first instalment of R1 000.
A third accused, Johnson Ramorei, was acquitted on both of the charges.
Ramorei admitted selling Pretorius's cellphone to a woman, taking Radebe and Moloko to the dealer and helping to transport their loot.
He had not been aware of the murder and robbery, he said.
Radebe, who was called as a defence witness, supported Ramorei's version.
Handing down the judgment on Thursday, Judge Winston Msimeki said Ramorei's version was reasonably possibly true and he had to get the benefit of the doubt.
Suspicion alone was not enough to convict Ramorei and he was also not linked to the murder and robbery through any DNA or fingerprint evidence, he said.
The trial continues on May 4.