Hitman found guilty in Vryheid murder case

2015-12-04 10:50


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Pietermaritzburg - The hitman charged with the 2012 murder of KwaZulu-Natal farmer and businessman Gert Uys was found guilty on Thursday in the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

Judge Nkosinathi Chili handed down the judgment on Thursday, saying that murder accused Andries Zulu, 28, did not make a good impression and contradicted himself “on many occasions”.

Zulu’s trial was recently moved from Northern KZN to the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

Uys was murdered on May 31, 2012, and robbed of his Toyota Land Cruiser, a .38 revolver with 25 live rounds of ammunition, two cellphones, a laptop and R18 510 in cash.

Zulu’s co-accused, Hercules Mbata, is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to the murder and turned state witness against Zulu.

The man who allegedly hired the two hitmen was Uys’s former business partner Christiaan Daniel Smith, 46, who is still on the run. It is believed Smith owed Uys millions of rand which, according to Judge Chili, was the motive behind the hired murder.

On the day of the murder, Uys was in his kitchen, at Rots Park in Gluckstadt near Vryheid, with his girlfriend when the two men walked into his house guns blazing. Uys was shot in the chest with a shotgun and his girlfriend was tied up before the men made away with his belongings. The men later abandoned his Land Cruiser.

According to evidence at Zulu’s trial, Zulu and Mbata received R52 000 between them from Smith prior to being arrested, but they had been promised more money for murdering Uys.

Sentencing of Zulu has not yet been handed down and his lawyer, Dinesh Lutchman, pleaded with the court to “have mercy” on Zulu.

“He [Zulu] is not married. However, he has three children whom are dependent on him. He has admitted to a previous conviction of theft and has been in custody since August 2012 for this case. We request that the sentence imposed is not in the terms of the prescribed sentencing but handed down with mercy for the accused,” said Lutchman.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime

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