People born in 'ghetto' prejudiced from outset - defence lawyer

2015-10-15 16:06
Glenrico Martin (Supplied by family)

Glenrico Martin (Supplied by family)

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Cape Town - People born on the Cape Flats were prejudiced from the outset with a culture of violence, a defence lawyer told the Western Cape High Court on Thursday.

Mohamed Sibda tried convincing the court such an environment warranted a deviation from the minimum life sentence in jail for his client, convicted killer Jevon Snyman.

Snyman, 22, was found guilty in July of killing an 18-year-old pupil on the tennis court of a Cape Town school in an apparent gang-related attack.

"Mr Snyman comes from a ghetto. People were placed there by the previous government in deplorable conditions," Sibda said.

"We always had a limitation of resources and the way State resources are allocated. This is also why gang violence can and does continue."

He said his client could be reformed.

The Western Cape High Court found Snyman had acted in common purpose with Wilson Stoffels, who fired the fatal shot to Glenrico Martin’s head at the Spes Bona Secondary School in May 2013.

Stoffels was sentenced last year to 24 years as part of a plea bargain, after admitting he and Snyman were part of a criminal gang.

Snyman was found not guilty on a gang-related charge in terms of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.

With an outstretched arm, prosecutor Mzwanele Jaxa said "not all kids" growing up in the same area had turned towards gangsterism.

"The State’s submission is it is still a matter of choice and there is nothing that has proven his involvement in gangsterism was a forced association."

He said Snyman was the mastermind of the "gruesome murder" and should feel the full might of the law.

Snyman’s aunt Kathleen Rix told News24 the killing had taken them by surprise, because they did not know he was involved in gangsterism.

"My heart is sad, because I can’t understand. He was like an angel to me."

This sentiment was echoed by Athlone community leader Muriel Susa.

"He was his mother’s softest child. We as a community were shocked it was him."

Judge Lister Nuku said he would pass sentence on October 22.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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