Man gets 20 years

2019-05-22 06:02
Accused Sprinkaan Maema

Accused Sprinkaan Maema

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One of the three assailants implicated in the murder of the Hawks member, Capt. Qeya Jonas Tshaba­lala (52), has been sentenced to an effective 20 years in prison in the Free State High Court.

Springkaan Maema (34) was sentenced on 13 May after he was found guilty on charges of murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Tshabalala was killed last year on 24 May after his attackers shot him four times while he was attending to a complaint in Phelindaba, Bloemfontein.

Phaladi Shuping, regional spokesperson of the National Prosecution Authority (NPA), said acting Judge Martha Murray sentenced Maema to 20 years for murdering Tshabalala and an additional 13 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances.

“The judge ordered the sentences to run concurrently and Maema will effectively serve 20 years in pri­son,” he said.

Shuping said evidence presented in court revealed that Maema and his accomplices made off with Tshabalala’s official cellular phone, service pistol and the state vehicle, a Toyota double cab bakkie. The vehicle was found abandoned near the Jimmy Roos School in Dewetsdorp with blood stains inside.

He said one of the assailants lost his cellular phone at the crime scene. Shuping said additional evidence was obtained from the tracking system in the vehicle.

“Evidence also corresponds with the mapping of cellular phone calls by the murdered officer,” said Shuping.

He said the phone was found in Maema’s possession during his arrest not far from where the vehicle was abandoned at the school.

Arguing in aggravation of sentence, State Prosecutor Adv. Moseme Lencoe stated that the robbers did not only try to subdue Tshabalala so that they could take the vehicle keys.

The attackers shot Tshabalala four times, with two of the bullets fired at close range. According to Lencoe this was a sign that they shot to kill.

“The attack on Capt. Tshabalala was brutal, cruel and unnecessary. There was no need to kill the deceased just to get the keys of the vehicle. Even though the accused said he is remorseful, the court should not attach any weight to that because he changed his version every time he realised he was cornered. The death of the deceased has also affected his family adversely as it was stated by his daughter during her testimony,” said Lencoe.

The police are still searching for Simon Masiu, who might be able to assist them with further investigation.

It is believed that Masiu entered Lesotho where he received treatment at a hospital, but he apparently disappeared from the hospital.

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