Shooting in bar because of penis size a ‘massacre’, says judge

2010-09-29 14:13

Two former police officers who shot dead four men in a Durban bar committed “nothing further than a massacre”, the city’s high court heard.

“I accept that liquor played a part in the event. The crimes were premeditated. I accept the families will suffer. The actions of the accused were callous. They disregarded human life. This was nothing further than a massacre,” Judge Guido Penzhorn said today.

Neither of the accused, former police officers Brian and Leon Steven, had showed remorse.

On September 10 2008, the pair shot dead Shawn Strydom (32) Nic Jansen van Rensburg (47), Rory Menzies (41) and Bruce Edwards (57).

There had apparently been an argument over the size of a patron’s genitals at the Merseyside Pub in Umbilo.

Penzhorn sentenced Brian to 25 years each for killing Strydom, Jansen van Rensburg, Menzies and Bruce Edwards.

Brian further received another 15 years for the attempted murder of Edwards’ son Shaun.

He sentenced Leon to 20 years each for the four murders and 10 years for attempted murder.

After the sentence there were tears from the brother’s relatives and words of triumph from the families of the victims.

Defence counsel Jay Naidoo applied for leave to appeal the convictions and sentences, saying a different court could come to another conclusion.

State prosecutor Mark Williams said the state rejected the application.

“No other court will come to another conclusion. There was no question that they were both firing at the patrons.”

Penzhorn responded: “I grant leave to appeal against the sentence and the convictions.”

He further refused the pair bail. Naidoo had argued that they be given bail as they posed no further threat to witnesses.

They had attended each court appearance and were not considered a flight risk.

Williams said the accused should start serving their sentences immediately.

“If it was not for Roger Ngendakumana the accused would not have been arrested early.”

Ngendakumana was the car guard who took the number plate of the car the brothers used on the night of the killings.

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