Winterton farmer's killers can appeal

2015-07-03 14:49

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Pietermaritzburg - Four gang members convicted of torturing and killing a Winterton farmer were granted leave to appeal their convictions and sentencing by a judge in the High Court in Pietermaritzburg on Friday.

Acting Judge Anand Maharaj said another court might come to a different conclusion.

On Thursday he sentenced all four men to life in jail for torturing 67-year-old Mohamed Engar so cruelly while robbing him and his family that he died in hospital six days later.

His wife Rezia was badly burnt in the attack and still walks with difficulty.

Engar and his family lived and worked on Noodhulp Farm, Winterton, between Ladysmith and Bergville. The crimes were committed in December 2013.

Maharaj said that the gang burnt Engar with an electric iron, stabbed and punctured a lung, trampled on him and beat him all over his body, fracturing his temple. His hands were tied behind his back so he could not resist.

The district surgeon who examined his body testified that Engar had no defensive-type injuries.

No remorse shown - judge

The gang members convicted of the murder, two aggravated robberies and attempted murder are Sifiso Mabusa, 34, Sindelani Mtshali, 26, Sabela Ndlovu, 37, and Mdududzu Nene, 33, from the Ladysmith area.  

Two others were acquitted on Tuesday for lack of evidence against them.

Mabusa was also sentenced to 15 years in jail for unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition. He and the others got 15 years for two robbery charges taken together and five years for the attempted murder of a farm worker, Lebaka Tsotetsi, who was shot in the leg and stomach.

Maharaj said that although Engar had suffered terribly, none of the accused had shown any remorse. The court therefore assumed that each accused went along with the perpetrators.

They had not taken the court into their confidence and had not accepted responsibility for the acts of violence.

Despite the overwhelming evidence against them, they had challenged it.

Maharaj said the seriousness of their crimes and lack of contrition outweighed their personal circumstances.

They had been motivated by greed, not need, as each had been gainfully employed at the time.

The attack on the family was carefully planned and executed, said Maharaj.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime  |  farm attacks

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