Life sentence for 'evil' killing of farmer

2012-04-02 22:33

Pretoria - A Soshanguve man who left more than 80 farm workers without jobs and homes when he murdered a Brits farmer two years ago was sentenced to life imprisonment by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Monday.

Sentencing Robert Mike Kgaphola, 34, for the murder of vegetable farmer Jacobus Frederick van Staden, 60, on his farm Kleinfontein near Brits in March 2010, Judge Mahomed Ismail said the accused had no remorse for his "evil" deeds.

A second accused, John Mapea of Mamelodi, died of natural causes before the trial started.

Van Staden and his wife Helena were in their bedroom when a gang of robbers invaded their home late at night, after first poisoning their dog.

They believed he was about to pay wages and that there was a lot of money on the farm. When the couple tried to block the bedroom door, the robbers fired shots through the door, hitting Van Staden in the chest.

He managed to fire several shots at their attackers, but missed.

The robbers made off only with Van Staden’s knife, given to him as a gift. Van Staden was declared dead on arrival at a local hospital.

His farm had since been put on the market, leaving more than 80 workers without an income or home.

Judge Ismail said the manner in which Kgaphola and his co-accused invaded the Van Staden home indicated they were hell-bent on achieving their objectives.

"The alarm was triggered when you entered the premises, but you continued with your actions which culminated in the death of the deceased... The manner in which the dog was killed bears testimony to the fact that your actions were planned and did not occur on the spur of the moment.”

The judge said Kgaphola had never shown remorse. He not only took the life of another human being, but also created unemployment.

Van Staden had been a compassionate employer who provided housing for his employees. One of his workers described him as their father, Judge Ismail said.

Kgaphola was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder. He received a further 18 years and six months for robbery with aggravating circumstances, malicious damage to property for killing the dog, and for the unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition. All sentences would run concurrently with the life sentence.

Speaking outside the court, Van Staden’s wife and three sons said they were satisfied justice had been done.

  • Butter - 2012-04-02 22:41

    bloody bastard hope he rots in jail!!!

      Robert - 2012-04-03 01:29

      Time that farm workers protect their farmers. but what the hell do they care.

      Jacob - 2012-04-03 04:25

      No that scum bag definitely deserves the DEATH PENALTY!! SA needs the death penalty for these horrendous crimes! To keep this evil person in jail and living off our taxes is a crime.

      Grant - 2012-04-03 05:38

      He scores a free lifetime supply of food from the land and hands of farmers and their workers and that can't be justice. The death penalty is not an option but forced labour for the state could be.

      wynand.meyering - 2012-04-08 11:50

      The farmers need to install video cameras on all the farms.

  • Boitumelo - 2012-04-02 23:36

    he must jst die in jail.... WE DNT NEED SUCH PPLE IN OUR COUNTRY.. We already have enough in the outside... Roamin around because justice has not been served...

  • Bless Boswell - 2012-04-02 23:41

    For the very first time a comment has been made by the judge that may make sense to those out there that are contemplating more murders: "the workers have been left without jobs and homes". It is evident their hatred and belief that there were funds to be had is what drove them - but maybe they will think next time - before they take the lives of people who are enriching the lives of black people.

  • Azande - 2012-04-03 00:26

    More than 81 families crying because of this retard. Hang high with his balls. He deserves red hot hell. May his soul rest in peace and family finds closure.

  • Keith - 2012-04-03 00:32

    A very big thumbs up for the judge Mohamed ismail, we need more judges like him to nail all these bastards cretins who are ruining and tarnishing the image of our country, once again thank you Mr judge and my condolences to the family of the victim, 80 people lost their jobs and homes becaz of stupid thugs, I hope this is a wake up call for Julius malema singing about killing the farmers who are creating jobs and feeding the nation, and he calls his hatred songs the revolution ones, god have mercy on us.

  • Jan - 2012-04-03 03:40

    What does this mean : "The alarm was triggered when you entered the premises, but you continued with your actions which culminated in the death of the deceased... The manner in which the dog was killed bears testimony to the fact that your actions were planned and did not occur on the spur of the moment.” Am I to understand that if he did it in the spur of the moment that he would have gotten a lesser jail term......?

      Tebogo - 2012-04-03 04:02

      Yeah it means that they would have gotten a lighter sentence as there was no intention to kill, but these guys killed the dog and then proceeded to enter the house even with alarms, this shows commitment to what they had planned.

      hein.huyser - 2012-04-03 06:20

      It shows premeditated murder. If a murder happened because of an accident or unforeseen circumstances it is manslaughter

  • Raj - 2012-04-03 06:00

    WELL DONE by Judge Mohammed Ismail. My condolences goes out to the deceased family and to the 80 farm workers for having lost their source of income which adds onto the already high unemployment list because of crime in this country. The ideal punishment would have been slow torture by these 80 farm workers, Each one having only one turn in the slow torture procedure. Thereafter send him to jail if he manages to survive. That would give other criminals something to think about.

  • Toofaan - 2012-04-03 06:10

    About time it was made known that killing farmers impacts on other people too (like the poor workers). They will suffer terribly while trying to find jobs. This should really be brought out into the open more often, so that all the retards who support farm murders (and idiotic "struggle" songs) can be made to shut up.

  • hein.huyser - 2012-04-03 06:25

    Not only are the 80 farm workers without an income now, what about the dreams and hopes they had for their kids? And what about a wife and children that have lost their husband, father and their incomes from that source. The cANCer and their Apla cronies don't think about the destabilizing effects of farm murders. Lastly, we now have one less farmer that contributed to us having affordable food on our tables. Nobody wins if we lose a farmer.

  • Patrys06 - 2012-04-03 06:30

    Is this realy a fair sentence that will give the family of the farmer closure???!!! Now we as -tax payers- will feed him 3 times a day while he sits on his ass for the rest of his life... Need I say more than "the laws look after the criminal and stuff the victim".

  • Hendrik - 2012-04-03 07:16

    This judge "takes no prisoners" - a pretty clear message from the judge, just a pity that the correctional system does not understand "life sentence" to be longer than 2 years.

  • Richard - 2012-04-03 07:24

    Awsome. Now we get to feed and look after him for the next 30 years while he is in jail. more taxes to make sure he is comfortable. WTF

  • Den - 2012-04-03 08:30

    no farmers = no food, no employment in rural areas

  • richard.hipkin - 2012-04-03 10:35

    When the government take crime seriously you will see more jobs, less hate, less blame, better understanding and a willingness to embrace each other... Crime is the number one reason there is such racial and "classist" disharmony.

  • paul.prinsloo3 - 2012-04-03 10:41

    One farmer, eighty employees; is that not reason enough to reconsider redistribution of land. If a black or brown farmer could attain the same, very crucial results pertaining to employment, I would be in favour of land reform, but so far land reform has decimated, if not utterly destroyed both employment as well as the recipients of these pasellas.

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