Second Trompsburg killer gets life term

2013-05-07 19:13
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

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Bloemfontein - A second man was sentenced to two life imprisonment terms in the Free State High Court in Bloemfontein on Tuesday for killing a Trompsburg farmer and his wife.

Judge Albert Kruger sentenced Nkululeko Mvumvu, 26, of Trompsburg, to one life imprisonment term each for killing Johannes Fourie, 71, and his wife Cecilia, 72, on their farm Knoppe last year.

They were attacked with an axe and spade and shot when they returned to their farm after attending a church service and braai at their children's house in the town on Sunday, 9 September 2012.

Neighbouring farmers and police found their bodies after they missed a security call on a rural security radio network later in the day.

Kruger said the number of wounds on the Fouries indicated they were extensively tortured.

"It is difficult to understand why this was done," said Kruger.

Mvumvu and an accomplice who knew there was a grinder in the shed they could have used to open the safe.

The motive for the crime was greed.

The judge found that the nature, severity, and senselessness of the crime overshadowed all mitigating circumstances submitted on Mvumvu’s behalf.

Mvumvu was earlier found guilty on all five charges - two of murder, one of housebreaking to commit robbery with aggravating circumstances, and two charges related to possession of firearms and ammunition.

In a separate trial, Mvumvu’s accomplice Moeketsi Hlaasa, also from Trompsburg, was sentenced to two life imprisonment terms for the same crime.

He pleaded guilty to the charges and testified in the trial of Mvumvu and a third accused, Phineas Mothibi, 29.

Kruger acquitted Mothibi, who worked on the farm Knoppe, on all five charges.

Fourie’s son, Nicolaas Kruger, who farms in neighbouring Springfontein, shook hands with and spoke to Mothibi after Judge Kruger delivered his judgment.

He told reporters he congratulated Mothibi on his acquittal, and spoke to him as a gesture of goodwill, and to honour the court’s decision.

"I thought he was guilty, but after hearing the evidence during the trial he is free and I told him to take care," Nicolaas Kruger said.

He said he hoped Mvumvu would not be allowed to appeal his sentences.

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