'Unrepentant' murderer gets two life terms for killing Western Cape couple

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Advocate Esmeralda Cecil and Detective Sergeant Zaliseka Hlatshaneni helped put Zandre Swartz behind bars.
Advocate Esmeralda Cecil and Detective Sergeant Zaliseka Hlatshaneni helped put Zandre Swartz behind bars.
PHOTO: Supplied/SAPS
  • A Western Cape man has been sentenced to two life terms for the murders of a Malmesbury couple.
  • Judge Monde Samela described Zandre Swartz as unrepentant, showing no signs that he could be rehabilitated.
  • Samela said Swartz has treated the deaths of the couple as unimportant.

A Western Cape man has been handed a double life sentence for the 2019 murders of a Malmesbury couple.

Zandre Swartz, 31, was sentenced in the Western Cape High Court on Thursday for the murders at the Kalbaskraal informal settlement on 1 November 2019.

He was also found guilty of attempted murder, for which he received an additional eight years. He was further sentenced to an additional 20 years for the illegal possession of a firearm and six years for the illegal possession of ammunition.

READ | Limpopo serial killer sentenced to life in prison for 6 murders, 2 rapes

All the sentences would be served concurrently, said Western Cape police spokesperson Ndakhe Gwala.

"Before handing down the sentence, Judge [Monde] Samela described Zandre Swartz as someone who is unrepentant of the heinous crimes he committed and had shown no signs that he can rehabilitated," she said.

"He said Swartz has treated the death of the deceased as unimportant and it is the duty of the court and the police to protect innocent and vulnerable citizens who fall prey to unrepentant murderers who don't respect the life of others."

Gwala added that Swartz was believed to be a gang member.

She said:

The investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Zaliseka Hlatshaneni, was praised by Judge Samela for a job well done.

In a separate case, a Cape Town man was sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment for shooting Faghmie Valentine, 21, from Hanover Park at a flat in St Lucia Court four years ago.

"In February 2019, the deceased and his cousin visited the perpetrator's sister. The trigger-happy gang member walked in and opened fire on the unsuspecting victim. The bullets struck him in the head and neck, and he succumbed to death on the scene. Two days after the incident, members of the Anti-Gang Unit arrested Gershwin Benjamin," said Gwala.

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He was denied bail and remained in custody for the duration of the trial. Along with the 15-year sentence, Benjamin was also declared unfit to possess a firearm.

Provincial police commissioner, Lieutenant General Thembisile Patekile, commended Detective Sergeant Hlaole David Mmola of the Anti-Gang Unit and Detective Sergeant Zaliseka Hlatshaneni for the investigations.

"Both sentences serve as motivation to our detectives in the province who work tirelessly and encounter the most aggravating circumstances on a daily basis. We also encourage communities to work with the police as we strive for a crime-free society."

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