German pensioner's killers convicted

2012-10-25 19:18

Pretoria - A security guard and his friend were convicted by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Thursday of murdering a German pensioner in her Pretoria home two years ago.

Ute Wiing, 70, suffocated after being assaulted, trussed up and gagged before her two attackers made off with her car, computer, and other personal items.

Judge Bert Bam found Amos Mokgabudi, 28, who was a security guard at Wiing's townhouse complex in Equestria, east of Pretoria, and his friend Frans Madiba guilty of murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

A third man, Brian Mathebe, was found guilty of the illegal possession of Wiing's stolen car and of an unlicensed 9mm pistol.

Wiing's daughter Sandra Hinsche found photographs of Mokgabudi on her mother's computer after the murder.

Bam said it was clear Wiing had died a painful and horrible death. She was tied up in such a way that she was completely immobilised, and was gagged with several items of clothing. She sustained blunt force injuries to both sides of her face and fractured ribs.

The position in which her body had been trussed caused her to die of strangulation and suffocation.

Madiba's lawyer argued he had been influenced by peer pressure, because most of his friends were in the same age bracket and had committed crimes.

The unemployed Madiba did not deny what he had done was wrong, but claimed Mokgabudi had lured him into committing the crime.

Mokgabudi's lawyer said he had continued working as a security guard while out on bail after his arrest, to maintain his nine-month-old child.

In a statement Hinsche described her mother as a kind woman who had helped others. She had been extremely proud of being called gogo (grandmother) by staff at her complex, and used to make them sandwiches and tea.

Her mother had embraced South Africa after her daughter brought her here in 2006 to be near to her grandchildren.

She had been planning a trip through Africa when she was murdered, shortly before the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

The German press had reported on her mother's murder, which had harmed South Africa's image, Hinsche said.

- SAPA
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