Life sentences for Mpumalanga gang who killed Somali shop owner

2015-12-09 20:35
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Pretoria - A gang who killed a Somali shop owner while robbing his store in Mdutjana, Mpumalanga, were given sentences in the High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday.

Sentencing Themba Mathibela, 33, Elias Skosana, 33, and Joseph Masombuka, 27, of KwaMhlanga for the June 2012 murder of Somali shop owner, Ahmed Salaad, Judge Mmonoa Teffo said the three had shown no contrition for what they did and were therefore not candidates for rehabilitation.

She sentenced the three to a further 20 years imprisonment on charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances and the illegal possession of two shotguns, a pistol and ammunition.

All sentences would run concurrently with the life sentence.

The gang went to Salaad's shop, Mike Supermarket, in the early hours and accosted him and his two friends who were sleeping in the shop.

Armed with shotgun

They first tried to break down the back door, but then gained entry through the front door as their victims tried to run away.

They forced the men back into the shop and robbed them of R2 500. Mathibela, armed with a shotgun, shot and killed the 26-year-old Salaad in front of his friends during the robbery. He died at the scene.

One of his friends ran away, while the other one managed to hide in the shop while the robbers continued to loot it.

Teffo said the victims had come to South Africa for a better life and to work for their families back home. The manner in which Salaad was killed in front of his friends was senseless and callous and they had been traumatised by his death.

"There was no reason to kill Salaad, who did not show any resistance and co-operated with the robbers," she said. "Statistics show that murder and robbery is on the increase in the country. People are tired of violence.

"Human life is a precious gift from God. Our Constitution teaches us to respect everyone. It makes no difference that these people were foreigners. They deserved to be treated like any other South African," she added.

Planned the robbery

Teffo said the three were motivated by greed and had planned the robbery. The murder was committed in the furtherance of a common goal.

They maintained their innocence throughout their trial and displayed a complete lack of remorse.

Although the three insisted that their youth and the fact that two of them were first offenders was mitigating, Teffo said they had not demonstrated any immaturity in their actions.

They were not influenced by peer pressure, and life imprisonment was prescribed for all offenders who committed such crimes.

They had persisted with their actions, despite the Somalis screaming for help, and clearly did not attach any value to other people's lives or their dignity, said Teffo.

Read more on:    mbombela  |  crime
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