KZN farmer's killers sentenced

2015-04-15 12:28
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Pietermaritzburg - A Newcastle farm worker and his accomplice were both jailed for life by Judge Jerome Mnguni in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court on Tuesday for killing and robbing Newcastle farmer Timothy Green.

Green, 44, a beef farmer, was attacked when he arrived home after dark on Sunday, August 11, 2013. Siyabonga Mhlungu shot him when he got out of his bakkie to open his gate.  Although gravely wounded, he got his cellphone from the bakkie and phoned a friend asking her to call police and paramedics.

He tried to crawl under the bakkie, but was dragged out and shot in the head with the shotgun the men had stolen from his house while he was away. The killers escaped when his friends came to help. He died as they tried to help him.

Mhlungu, 29, and Mfanakhona Maniteng, 23, who both lived nearby, were convicted of the murder, housebreaking, and theft. They were sentenced to five years’ jail for the theft, 15 years for aggravated robbery and 10 years for unlawful possession of the gun and ammunition. All sentences will run concurrently with the life term.

Mnguni said the two were arrested when they showed police officers where they had hidden the goods they stole from Green.

Increase in farm murders

Present at the conviction and sentencing was AfriForum's criminologist Lorraine Claasen, who consults bereaved relations and friends of murdered farmers. She told this reporter that, according to the Transvaal Agricultural Union, farm attacks have increased alarmingly.

Countrywide there were 115 in 2010, 96 in 2011, 174 in 2012, rising to 231 in 2013, and 277 last year. These and other statistics have been given to the SA Human Rights Commission.

KwaZulu-Natal Agricultural Union security manager Koos Marais told the court that since 2001 there were 130 murders in 63 incidents in the province.

Farmers, their families and staff, were vulnerable because it was almost impossible to keep intruders out given the large size of many farms, he said.

- An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Claasen said farm murders had increased alarmingly. She in fact said farm attacks had increased alarmingly.

Read more on:    afriforum  |  pietermartizburg  |  farm attacks  |  crime

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