Killer gets life +138 years'

2014-06-07 11:50

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pretoria - Two men who robbed and killed an elderly Greek immigrant and almost killed another man were sentenced to life imprisonment by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Friday.

Judge Ferdi Preller sentenced Moetla Richard Donald Mokalapa, 23, of Mamelodi to two terms of life imprisonment on charges of murder and rape.

Mokalapa was sentenced to a further 138 years' imprisonment on charges of attempted murder, four of robbery with aggravating circumstances, and several of unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.

Alex Maila, 29, of Atteridgeville, was sentenced to life imprisonment for raping a woman in one of the houses they robbed, and to 107 years on three charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances and unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.

Some of the sentences are to run concurrently.

The two broke into homes in Wonderboom and Sinoville over six months in 2010 and 2011 before they were caught.

Mokalapa admitted that he had broken into the home of Georgios Savvides and his wife Emmerentia in March 2011.

He said Maila shot Mr Savvides in the stomach through his bedroom door when he peeped out after hearing his wife scream for help in another room. He died on the scene.

Maila denied guilt on the murder charge and also denied breaking into the Savvides' home.

Shot didn't go off

Both men admitted to breaking into other homes and robbing the owners at gunpoint, and trying to murder Sinoville homeowner Leon van der Merwe after breaking into his home in June 2011.

Mokalapa said in a statement he had put his gun to Van der Merwe's head and pulled the trigger when Van der Merwe tried to fight back. The shot did not go off.

Both had their first brushes with the law at a young age, but always received suspended sentences. Preller said the benefit of suspended sentences did not seem to have deterred them.

He was not surprised that both were unemployed, given how busy they were committing crime.

They had not co-operated with the police and never offered to show where their loot could be found, or to point out who had bought it.

Van der Merwe's wife Magriet and son Leon, who attended sentencing, expressed relief that the two had been removed from society.

Magriet van der Merwe said the case proved how empowering it could be to be part of an active community watch and community policing forum.

Mokalapa and Maila were caught a few blocks from their house after residents blocked the streets throughout the night and helped police.

Magriet said the incident had negatively affected her husband's health but she did not hate the two, because then she would become like them.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  crime

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Africa: Land of Billionaires!

Find out who are the richest of the richest in Africa!

Jurassic World trailer is epic!
Best bro movies 2014
Every man should be able to do these three things
Goalkeeper saves five penalties with his FACE!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

Hot festive offers at!

Hurry! Stocks are limited. Don’t miss out. Shop Now!

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


You may feel divided. Conflict between mind and emotions can create tension or indecision. This could lead to stressful more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.