Three killers each get 100 years behind bars

2015-06-15 18:04
Shutterstock: Prison bars

Shutterstock: Prison bars

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Mbombela - Three men found guilty of murdering three people during robberies in Mpumalanga three years ago were each handed sentences of more than 100 years in prison.

Ndala Lazzy Chiloane, 38, and Respect Mokone, 27, both from Acornhoek, and George Mashaba, 37, from Lilly Dale village near Bushbuckridge, were sentenced when appearing in the Nelspruit Circuit Local Division of the Eastern Circuit District Court on Monday.

They had pleaded not guilty to 14 charges, including three murders, four attempted murders, three armed robberies, two illegal possession of firearms and two illegal possession of ammunition.

Judge Peter Mabuse found them guilty for the murder of Hlanganani Protection Services' security guard, Calvin Nkhathi, 45, Peaceful Siwelane, 17, and a primary school teacher, Hlomula Chawane, 46, and wounding four other people during three separate armed robberies in Thulamahashe near Bushbuckridge in 2012.

Mabuse said the three were implicated in the commission of the crimes in three categories: their confession statements which they made to senior police officers, identification by state witnesses, and possession of items reported stolen from the victims.

“Accused one was identified by witness and security guard Patrick Mafuyeka as one of the men who attacked them on February 22 2012. He even mentioned you as the one who fired shots, killing Nkhathi at the scene and wounding him and his colleague, Zodwa Ndlovu, on their legs,” he said.

Mabuse said the men then robbed them of their Norinco service revolvers and cellphones. He said both Mafuyeka and Ndlovu were crippled as a result of the shootings.

He said two other witnesses, Believe Siwelane and Josias Maphosa, also identified Chiloane as the one who shot dead Peaceful Siwelane on February 23 2012.

“Believe made probable and ever consistent comments. He made a good impression and was an intelligent witness. He was credible. Maphosa was also consistent and his evidence was never disputed,” he said.

Mabuse said the court could not find the reason why Chawane was killed on February 25 2012, before being robbed of his vehicle and R300 cash.

He said Mashaba's involvement was based on possession of stolen property.

“When police stopped a BMW vehicle in March 2012 after a tip-off, three men alighted. Two tried to run, but were shot in their legs and fell. A third suspect managed to escape.

“Those apprehended were Chiloane and Mashaba. During the search, police found from each of you the Norinco revolvers that were stolen from the security guards,” he said.

Mabuse said that during interrogation, each of the accused made a confession to the crimes to three senior police officers from three different police stations.

“After the confession statements were disputed by your counsels, a trial-within-a-trial was called. Each of the witnesses confirmed it was made freely and voluntarily. The officers testified they were not familiar with the cases, which satisfied the court,” he said.

Mabuse sentenced Chiloane to a total of 118 years imprisonment, which concurrently runs for life, Mashaba to 169 years which concurrently run for life and Mokone to 158 years, which concurrently runs for 30 years imprisonment.

Read more on:    mbombela  |  crime

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