Farm murder: judges reduce killer’s sentence

2013-02-14 00:00

ONE of the killers of well-known Krans­kop farmer Friedel Redinger (49) has successfully appealed for a reduction of his life sentence in the Pietermaritzburg high court.

Judge Rishi Seegobin, together with KZN Judge President Chiman Patel and Judge Jerome Mnguni, decided this week to reduce the sentence imposed on Thembelani Sibiya for the role he played in Redinger’s murder and robbery in 1998, to an effective 18 years’ imprisonment.

The judges said that Sibiya was just 20 years old at the time of the incident; that he had been drawn into the plan devised by his older co-perpetrator; that he had co-operated with the police investigation at the time; and that he had not fired the fatal shot at Redinger. However, Sibiya was found to have formed a common purpose with the actual killer.

Sibiya and his co-accused, Nkosikhona Gasela, were found guilty of Redinger’s murder and robbery by Judge Dumile Kondile in November 1999.

According to evidence at the trial, Redinger was waylaid in a plantation on his farm, Dalumbe, on December 7, 1998. He was shot in the head at close range and died on the scene.

His bakkie was later recovered from the Emthombeni Mission Church, where it had been abandoned.

The killers took Redinger’s cellphone, a radio-cassette player and a farm radio.

According to medical and ballistic evidence, Redinger was shot in the back of his head with a 12-bore shotgun estimated to have been held about 50 centimetres from his head.

He was lying on the ground when he was shot.

In a statement to the court at his trial, Sibiya said he had not known that Gasela had a gun or that Redinger would be killed.

Sibiya only appealed against his sentence this month after being granted leave to do so by Judge Kevin Swain.

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