Sugar mill boss’s killer gets 20 years

2014-12-15 00:00

THE killer of Noodsberg Illovo Sugar Mill manager Carl Wessels (55) was jailed effectively for 20 years on Friday.

As she watched gunman Ayanda Mathobela (34) being led away to the cells to start serving his jail term, tears rolled down the cheeks of the victim’s widow, Wendy, who was with her husband when he was shot.

She did not want to comment on the sentence.

Wessels was shot dead soon after he and his wife arrived back at friends Robert and Peddy Wilson’s Bellview Farm in New Hanover, on June 29.

The two couples had enjoyed a lunch in Pietermaritzburg and on their return they were ambushed by Mathobela and his co-assailants, who were lying in wait for them.

Pleading guilty to the charge last week, Mathobela said he had hit Wessels over the head with his gun intending to scare him and it went off, shooting him in the head.

He and his co-assailants — both of whom are still at large — fled with R150 and two cellphones.

He apologised to Wessels’s family and to the Wilsons for what he did.

Passing sentence on Mathobela, Judge Thoba Poyo-Dlwati said society is “sick and tired” of crimes like these.

“The public desires protection from the kind of wanton criminality encountered here. Even though you say you were merely wanting to scare him with your firearm, the consequences were fatal and brutal. You shot him [Wessels] in broad daylight and in the presence of his wife and friends. His wife will live with that excruciating memory for the rest of her life,” she said.

The judge said the murder had devastating consequences on Wessels family to whom he was a pillar of strength.

He also deprived Wessels’s employers of his skills and experience.

Poyo-Dlwati said what was even worse was that the murder weapon has not yet been recovered by the police.

“It will probably be used to kill another person, but this time not by you,” she said.

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