Sentence is cruel, says killer
Philip de Bruin
Cape Town - A murderer complained to Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo on Monday about his "unconstitutionally cruel" sentence of life plus 15 years for murder and armed robbery.
Sydney Baloyi's dissatisfaction with the sentences is a result of the fact that his three co-accused, who went on trial with him, were each sentenced to "only" 12 years in prison for the murder and only six years - of which three years were suspended - for the robbery.
They were all sentenced by judge H Smith in the circuit court in Tzaneen.
Baloyi said the fact that only he was singled out for a life sentence amounts to a "cruel" sentence, which is unconstitutional.
Furthermore, he said, these very different sentences amount to unequal treatment, which is also unconstitutional.
He feels his trial was neither fair nor reasonable, among other reasons because Smith had been "blatantly aggressive" toward him (Baloyi).
As an afterthought, he added in his appeal application in the constitutional court that he also disagreed with the reasons Smith gave for the guilty verdict. Smith found that the four men had acted with a common goal.
Ngcobo is considering the application.