Seven young men have received life impri-sonment for the brutal murder of Lebo- hang Hector Kase and Innocent Mzwandile Klaas.
These seven are associated with two of the numerous notorious gangs in Welkom.
The Virginia Magistrate’s Court sentenced the killers on Friday (11/08) after finding them guilty of the murders.
Kase (19) was a gr. 10 learner at the Thotagauta Secondary School.
His killers burnt his body behind a shopping centre in a crime-ridden informal settlement of Freedom Square in Thabong and his body was found on 31 January 2016.
Klaas reportedly died in a local hospital due to multiple stab wounds following a brutal attack.
Brig. Motantsi Makhele, Free State police spokesperson, said investigation established that both deceased belonged to gang groupings.
Kase was a member of the International Street Kids (ISK) and Klaas a member of Gangsters 10 (G10).
Makhele said the court found the seven accused guilty on a count of murder and the contravention of Section 9 (1)(a) of The Prevention of Organised Crime Act (POCA) 121 of 1998 – Gang Related Offences.
The accused are Teboho John Hlalele (26) from Ext 15 Bronville, Thapelo Edward Lepheane (20) from Freedom Square, Thapelo Tshabalala (23) and Teboho Ernest Hlakanelo (23) both from Ext 19 Bronville, Mahlomola Johnie Thabiso Motaung (23) from Ext 2 Rheederspark, Siphumelele Madlebe (20) from Freedom Square and Richard Teboho Moletsane (23) from Thabong.
Makhele said presiding judge Lepono Lekale showed no mercy sentencing the killers to life on the mentioned offences.
He said the successful outcome followed the prosecution by state prosecutor Antoinette Ferreira.
Makhele said initially eight suspects had been arrested.
“The court acquitted one of the accused on all counts,” said Makhele.
He attributed the success in finalising the case to the sterling work by the investigators, Det. WO Brian Mtileni and Const Bonisile Mvangeli of the Thabong police.
“The sterling detective work enabled them to establish that the two murder incidents had been gang related and were committed by a grouping belonging to RAF 3 and International Junior Portuguese”.