Men guilty of killing dad in front of girl

2012-11-02 07:23

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Pretoria - Two Atteridgeville men who shot dead a Booysens businessman in front of his teenage daughter four years ago were found guilty of his murder in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Thursday.

Judge Bert Bam convicted Pleasure Mokoena and Lerato Mancidi on charges of murdering Jan Engelbrecht, 45, during an armed robbery at his home in Booysens, Pretoria, in September 2008 and attempting to murder Engelbrecht's stepson Evan van der Merwe.

A third robber, Motsiri Ernest Masipa, was sentenced last year to 15 years imprisonment on a charge of robbery with aggravating circumstances, after admitting guilt.

Engelbrecht, who had an electrical business and was a motorcycle enthusiast, died at the scene after being shot in the chest.

Dad saved daughter

His traumatised daughter Megan, 18, testified in Masipa's trial and was forced to relive the horrific night when she testified against Mokoena and Mancidi as well.

She could not be in court for the judgment because she was writing a matric exam.

Megan identified Mokoena as the man who had shot her father after a group of robbers entered their property.

She testified that her father had pushed her out of the way just before he was shot.

Her father was bleeding profusely and she had tried to stop the blood with towels before phoning the police.

Quickly pointed out as killer

Her mother Merinda also identified Mokoena as the man who had held a firearm against her husband's head in their bedroom that night.

The two women had no hesitation in pointing out Mokoena at an identity parade more than two years later.

Masipa testified that he, the two accused and another man had planned the robbery at Engelbrecht's house.

He denied ever being inside the house but admitted wrestling outside with Engelbrecht's two stepsons.

Masipa said Mokoena had fired a shot at the young men and he had also seen Mokoena shooting Engelbrecht.

According to Masipa, both accused were armed when they came to his house the next morning.

The two accused denied any involvement in the crimes and claimed they had alibis for that night.

No evidence to support alibis

Mokoena said he had been drinking beer with friends while Mancidi claimed he had been with his aunt in Limpopo at the time.

Their alibis were not supported by any evidence.

Judge Bam said there was no reason to doubt Megan and her mother's evidence.

Despite being severely traumatised by seeing their loved one being shot dead in front of them, both managed to give a clear and credible account of the incident.

Although Masipa was the only witness who implicated Mancidi, the court accepted his evidence.

Bam said Mancidi knew firearms would be used during the robbery, had probably been armed himself and was equally responsible for Mokoena's criminal acts.

The trial continues.

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