- A man has been sentenced to an effective 18 years behind bars after he was found guilty of three farm murders in the Free State.
- He was sentenced after entering into a plea agreement with the State to testify against his four co-accused.
- The case against the remaining four accused will resume on 5 October.
A man has been sentenced to an effective 18 years behind bars after being found guilty on three charges of murder, as well as attempted murder and attempted robbery.
This after he entered into a plea agreement with the State to testify against his four co-accused.
Tlhoriso Charles Letsoso, 32, appeared in the Phuthaditjhaba High Court where he was sentenced to 18 years' imprisonment on each of the three murder charges, six years for attempted murder and three years for attempted armed robbery. All the sentences are to run concurrently.
According to Hawks spokesperson Warrant Officer Lynda Steyn, Letsoso was among five suspects arrested near Fouriesburg during a joint operation by the Hawks' Serious Organised Crime Investigation team together with detectives from Thaba Nchu, Botshabelo, on 12 June last year.
"The joint team swiftly acted on information received about a possible armed robbery or a farm attack which was to take place in the Fouriesburg district.
"A suspicious vehicle was stopped and searched... and the team discovered two unlicenced firearms, an R1 rifle and a 9mm pistol, which had been reported stolen. The suspects were immediately arrested," Steyn said.
The seized firearms were subjected to a forensic examination which linked the R1 rifle to three murder cases: A double murder committed in Thaba Nchu District where a husband and wife were shot and killed; and another shooting in the Botshabelo district where the same firearm had been used. In that incident, a man was shot dead, but his wife survived.
The case against the four remaining suspects was postponed to 5 October and Letsoso is expected to testify against his alleged accomplices, who remain in custody.
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