Murderer Anthony Strauss granted leave to appeal robbery conviction

2016-01-18 15:39
The mother of Luresha Govender, who was murdered by Anthony Strauss on December 30 2014. (Picture: Denzil Maregele)

The mother of Luresha Govender, who was murdered by Anthony Strauss on December 30 2014. (Picture: Denzil Maregele)

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Johannesburg - Convicted murderer Anthony Strauss was granted leave to appeal his robbery conviction in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

Strauss was convicted of murdering and robbing Luresha Govender in a fit of rage on December 30 2014 .

At first it was believed Strauss would apply for leave to appeal his life sentence, but on Monday the court heard from Strauss’ lawyer, Kevin Lawlor, that he intended appealing his robbery conviction, for which he was sentenced to a minimum of 15 years, plus a life sentence for the murder.

According to Lawlor, there was no evidence to suggest that Strauss intended robbing Govender before the murder was committed and that the conviction should be changed from robbery with aggravated circumstances to theft with a minimum of five years in prison.

Advocate Nerusha Naidoo, representing the State, said Strauss only committed the murder in order to rob her so that he could pay back the drug lords to whom he apparently owed money.

"The murder occurred in order to allow the robbery to occur. Without the murder, robbery could not occur," she told the court. "Strauss had a building intention to rob Govender."

Lawlor, however, maintained that there was no intention to commit the murder in order to be able to rob Govender and that the State's argument held no water.

Leave to appeal robbery conviction

Judge Solly Sithole said that there was nothing wrong with the conviction and sentence on the murder charge and that it would remain as it were.

He added that there was a reasonable prospect of success for Strauss to appeal the robbery conviction.

"I arrive at the conclusion that this court is prepared to grant leave of appeal in respect of count two (robbery charge)," Sithole told the court.

Govender’s mother, Rani, who was present at the court said she was there because the family was curious about what sentence Strauss would appeal.

"It’s a relief that he didn't appeal the murder charge," she told News24.

In 2014, Strauss was hired by Govender to build kitchen cupboards at her house in Paulshof, Johannesburg. He tied an electrical cord around Govender's neck and choked her to death after a quarrel broke out between them and she refused to pay him.

He spent several hours at her home after killing her and left in her sports car the next morning, reportedly giving it to drug lords as payment.

Govender's body was later discovered by her brother.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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