Trigger-happy killer handed life sentence for 2017 murder, robbery of security guard

2019-07-18 18:33
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The Gauteng High Court sitting in Johannesburg has handed a man found guilty of murdering a security guard and robbing him of his service pistol in Krugersdorp in 2017 a life sentence for the crimes.

This comes after the accused, Mpho Kgopane, 32, was found guilty of five charges that include murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, attempted murder as well as the unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.

"In June 2017, the accused and his friends were walking from a drinking establishment when they encountered [security guard] Thabo Manaka who was dressed in his uniform.

"Kgopane, armed with a firearm, approached Manaka and demanded his service pistol and shot him twice," Gauteng National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said in a statement on Thursday.

A month later, Kgopane attempted to murder his neighbour, David Madlebe, whom he shot and wounded.

The defence's pre-sentencing report revealed the 32-year-old came from a stable family background and that he was employed.

Advocate Faghre Mohamed, however, submitted evidence to the court showing the severe impact Manaka's murder had had on his family.

"He further emphasised Kgopane's previous convictions, his lack of remorse and the cold blooded manner in which the deceased's life was taken," Mjonondwane said.

The court failed to find substantial and compelling circumstances to deviate from the proposed sentence.

"The court held that substantial and compelling circumstances are absent in this matter and imposed the proportionate sentence of life imprisonment on the murder count. The sentences on the other counts were ordered to run concurrently with the custodial sentence of life," she added.

The defence's application for leave to appeal the conviction and sentence was denied.

The NPA welcomed the sentence.

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Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime  |  courts
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