Man found guilty of 'murder spree', slapped with three life terms in jail

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Neavan Demingo has been handed three life sentences for a ‘murder spree’ in Bethelsdorp.
Neavan Demingo has been handed three life sentences for a ‘murder spree’ in Bethelsdorp.
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  • A man was slapped with three life sentences for a "murder spree" in Bethelsdorp in 2019.
  • The accused killed three men in two separate shootings.
  • The motive for the attacks is still unknown.

A Bethelsdorp man has been found guilty of a 2019 "murder spree" in which three people were killed.

"The [Eastern Cape High Court in Gqeberha] sentenced 24-year-old Neavan Demingo to three life sentences for executing a murder spree during April and May 2019," said regional NPA spokesperson Anelisa Ngcakani.

READ | Western Cape policing authorities on the carpet over gang violence

The court also imposed sentences of five years for attempted murder, six years for two counts of unlawful possession of ammunition and 15 years for each of two counts of the unlawful possession of a firearm.

The court heard that on 30 April 2019, Demingo and an unknown accomplice approached Moegamet Zane Abrahams and another unknown man while they were standing in a Bethelsdorp street. A shooting ensued.

When Abrahams fled, the two turned their weapons on bystanders, Austin Carlo Tembula and Fernando Oswald Ashia, before they fled.

Breadwinners

A month later, on 18 May 2019, Demingo and two other suspects approached Jacques Richard Roberts while walking in a street in Bethelsdorp.

"Demingo and one of the two men then drew their firearms and shot at Roberts. Roberts fled, but Demingo and his accomplice continued to shoot at him. He died later in hospital as a result of the gunshot wounds. The motive for these murders is unknown," said Ngcakani.

Demingo was arrested on 20 May 2019 at the Bethelsdorp police station.

Acting Judge Ivana Bands acknowledged that Demingo had been raised in an environment where he was subjected to ongoing gang-related violence daily.

"I pause to mention that the personal circumstances, whilst regrettable, are not unique, with a vast proportion of our citizens sharing a similar background, yet not resorting to the conduct of the accused, which led to the senseless death of three young men," Bands said.

She added that it was clear from the evidence tendered by advocate Rafick Ahmed that Tembula, Ashia and Roberts were responsible young men who were breadwinners.

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