Two men accused of torture, murder sentenced to life imprisonment

2019-05-01 22:23
(Jackie Clausen, Gallo Images, Sunday Times, file)

(Jackie Clausen, Gallo Images, Sunday Times, file)

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Two men accused of torturing and hanging three men in Nhlazatshe near Badplaas in Mpumalanga have been sentenced to multiple life sentences in the Tshwane North High Court, sitting in Breyten.

The case dates back to September 2016, and the pair was sentenced on Monday.

Mpumalanga police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi says the victims were tied with barbed wire around their necks and hands and hanged from the rafters. Further, the victims were burned with a hot iron, eventually succumbing to their torture.

Accused number one Bheki Makhanya was sentenced to one life term behind bars, while Bhuti Solomon Mageba Nkosi, accused number two was convicted to three life terms.

According to Hlathi, "while the court was in session, the presiding officer mentioned the seriousness of impinging on the most fundamental right of all, the right to life. He highlighted how any remorse, if any, would not assist in bringing back the lives of the slain trio."

"The court also heard that the trio was murdered as an initiative and ploy to eliminate competition in illegal drug peddling in the area.

"The bodies of the deceased were found with multiple burn wounds and all of them were gagged in order to mute their screams," said Hlathi.

Mpumalanga provincial police commissioner Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma applauded the work done by the investigating team, the NPA and witnesses in the successful conviction of the two men.

Zuma called the men "a pair of rotten potatoes who do not deserve to live among civil society".

"It is such kind of hard work and outcomes that restore trust in the country's judicial system and assert the authority of the state."

Read more on:    nelspruit  |  crime

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