Killers put away

2015-07-03 07:48


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FOUR of the “sadistic and barbaric” robbers and killers of Mohamed Engar (67) at Winterton in 2013 were each sentenced to life plus long periods of imprisonment yesterday.

Two of the men who were convicted on additional charges of unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition — Sifiso Mabuza and Sabelo Ndlovu — each got life plus an effective 35 years’ imprisonment, and Lindelani Mtshali and Mduduzi Nene were each sentenced to life plus 20 years.

The jail terms will run concurrently with the life sentence.

Acting Judge Anand Maharaj (sitting with assessor Fred Heuer) used the words “cold”, “callous”, “cruel”, “cowardly” and “sadistic”, to describe the actions of the gang responsible for murdering Engar, shooting and seriously wounding one of his workers, Lebaka Tsotsetsi, and torturing Engar and his wife Razia by burning them with an electric iron.

The couple were burnt on their backs and legs while tied up on December 5, 2013. Their farmhouse was ransacked. The incident happened on Noodhulp farm where Engar also ran a milling business.

The evidence showed the four accused were among a gang numbering about six who had initially confronted Engar and his employees at his mill, and then brought him to the house, injured and bleeding, to continue the search for money and valuables. There they also tied up his wife and burnt her with an iron as she lay helpless on her stomach.

Judge Maharaj said the post mortem report showed that Engar must have endured a great deal of pain and suffering before he died of his stab wounds.

He underwent a savage beating, resulting in head injuries and suffered serious burns which displayed the pattern of the iron that was also used on his wife. A stab wound penetrated his lungs.

The judge said the violence was senseless and sadistic. The lack of defensive wounds on Engar’s body showed that he had offered no resistance.

Razia Engar, who attended the sentencing along with her daughter Fathima, was overcome with emotion afterwards and shook her head when asked if she wanted to comment.

However Fathima, who asked for her surname not to be published, said she had mixed emotions. She would have been happy for the accused to remain in prison for the rest of their lives in order to protect the community. “As I understand it, life in this country means 25 years,” she said, adding that nothing would bring back her father. “As the judge said, it was unnecessary to inflict such pain and suffering on my parents.”

She said the business on the farm is currently being run by her mother and her brothers.

Acting Judge Maharaj remarked during his judgment that when travelling from Durban to Pietermaritzburg to preside over the case, he had observed many (news) posters about murders on farms and elderly people.

“It certainly paints a bleak picture about the number of murders in Pietermaritzburg and its surrounds. The thought crossed the court’s mind whether this is the murder capital of KZN,” he added.

He said the sentences imposed by the court should, not only take into account the accused’s personal circumstances, but also punish them, reflect the seriousness of the crimes, deter others, and serve as retribution. The aim is to protect law-abiding citizens and provide them with safer living conditions

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  court

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