'Poor shot' farm attacker gets 104 years'

2014-10-28 20:53

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Mbombela - A Mozambican farm attacker found guilty on 23 counts of armed robbery committed seven years ago, was sentenced by the Nelspruit Regional Court on Tuesday to 104 years in prison.

Magistrate Andre Geldenhuys commented that fortunately Lorenzo Bedome Gideon Mazunze, 33, was a bad shot, a Sapa correspondent reported.

"Most of your victims were saved by the grace of God from being hit by bullets. You were also a bad shooter."

Geldenhuys said Mazunze robbed farms and terrorised its occupants around Malalane and Barberton in 2007. He said Mazunze was shot during his arrest on 22 February 2008 while trying to rob a family on a farm in Malalane.

He was found guilty of housebreakings and theft, housebreakings with intent to rob, trespassing, armed robberies, attempted murders, and malicious damage to property.

"Over the weekend, Bafana Bafana captain Senzo Meyiwa was shot dead by people like yourself. Not long ago, a politician was shot in Witbank (Emalahleni) whilst withdrawing cash at an ATM. As nothing seems to be done to stop criminals like yourself, the courts will deal with you as you are a danger to our society," Geldenhuys told Mazunze.

Geldenhuys said Mazunze had not acted alone.

"In all the cases firearms and other weapons were used. All evidence pointed out you were the one who produced a firearm and fired the shots."

Malalane farmer Andre van Rooyen, was hacked with an axe in the safety of his own home.

"You then shot him in his stomach, injuring him. He was not seriously injured," he said.

In Barberton, Mazunze shot at farmer's wife, Gloria Morgan, during an armed robbery.

"The bullet missed Morgan by luck," he said.

He said Mazunze and his accomplices mostly targeted guest houses and farms houses, especially in Malalane.

"At these places, you fired shots at women and children, including sick people. You had no regard for human life," he said.

Geldenhuys said all the accused wanted were valuables such as jewellery and cash.

On two farms he took workers' wages, R23 000 and R200 000 in cash.

"You even fired a shot at a doctor and his wife when robbing them. Luckily the bullet missed him. You not only attacked white farmers, but also other races who worked to earn a living at farms," he said.

Mazunze was sentenced to 15 years for murder in 2012.

"You committed most of the cases in Malalane and would return to Mozambique to spend what you got and then planned more attacks."

Mazunze would serve a total of 104 years in jail and would never qualify for parole.

Read more on:    mbombela  |  crime  |  farm attacks

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