Farm murderer gets 25 years

2015-11-04 06:00

IN May 2013, David Maratos was murdered while farm sitting in the Mispah area. Last week one of his killers, 23-year-old Bheki Qwabe was sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment­ for murder with a concurrent sentence of 15 years’ for robbery with aggravating circumstances.

In handing down the sentence, Judge Jacqueline Henriques said that one of the factors which had weighed heavily in not imposing life was that Qwabe had spontaneously owned up to a previous conviction for murder which he had committed at the age of 18 in 2012.
In addition he had pleaded guilty and showed remorse for his actions as well as apologising to the victim’s family for the pain and loss he had caused. He had also undertaken to testify at the trial of his two former co-accused,

The murder took place when the three entered the farmhouse through an unlocked back door assuming it was unoccupied.
Qwabe said he had gone through to a bedroom and on his return found Maratos being attacked and stabbed by the other two accused, who were demanding money.
He had also demanded money when a “crucial” stab wound had been inflicted on the victim.
The three fled leaving Maratos bleeding on the floor. It was thought that the victim had been asleep and was woken up by a noise, had gone to investigate and was then attacked and killed.

Judge Henriques said the post-mortem had shown that Maratos had put up a struggle - apart from the fatal stab wounds to his neck he sustained multiple bruises to his body and scalp and had a broken rib. The alarm was raised early on the Saturday morning when Maratos did not answer the phone. Security was alerted and his body was found on the kitchen floor, beaten and stabbed to death.

In conclusion the judge said she had taken into account that “murders and robbers have become a scourge in our society” with farm murders particularly endemic and often involving attacks on elderly and vulnerable victims.

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