St James killer gets life for heist death

2012-02-17 10:08

Cape Town - St James Church killer Gcinikhaya Makoma, who was granted amnesty for the 1993 attack, has been sentenced to life and 46 years in prison for his role in a “deadly” cash van heist, the Cape Times newspaper reported on Friday.

The sentences would run concurrently.

Makoma, 36, and eight others - Lunga Luke, Thobela Nono, Zamekile Ngqonga, Thando Mafalala, Thobile Pezisa, Andile Ndandani, Zukile Netti and Thembikile Tikipini - were found guilty in the Western Cape High Court on Thursday.

Judge Patrick Gamble said Makoma's argument that the St James Church Massacre - for which he was granted amnesty in 1998 - had dogged his life and that it had led him to kill again was a “perverse argument not worthy of serious consideration”.

'Pure greed'

Makoma’s role in the heist had been driven by “pure greed”.

“Society undoubtedly looks to the courts to protect itself from this offender once and for all,” said Judge Gamble, adding that nothing but a life sentence would be appropriate in Makoma’s case.

While his defence contended Makoma had to be treated as a first offender because his record had been expunged under the “TRC Act”, Judge Gamble, citing case law, said this did not mute the fact that his role in the St James Church Massacre was historically true.

The judge had asked to read the TRC’S amnesty ruling, but it had never been put before the court.

As a result, the court had little before it to appreciate Makoma’s argument that his life had been defined by his “unique” past.

  • Carlo Hayes - 2012-02-17 10:19

    One a criminal always a criminal.

      Ian - 2012-02-17 11:30

      Leonard. If you correct someone, try to spell correctly yourself. 'Tragedy', no 'd'.

      Jack - 2012-02-17 11:58

      dunno about that, but certainly believe that his amnesty must now be erased and he should face justice for both crimes...

  • kgomotso.radise - 2012-02-17 10:21

    As they say: Bad news is good news

  • Larry - 2012-02-17 10:24

    The Bastard should never have been released in the first place.

      Shirley - 2012-02-17 10:34

      A lot of heartache could of been spared!

  • Bokfan - 2012-02-17 10:24

    Pity life isnt life in SA. Expect to see this murderous thug around your neighborhood in 10 years or so.

  • NickvanderLeek - 2012-02-17 10:26

    "I committed a crime and it bothered me so much, I had to commit another one, and this is why I should be excused." Interesting argument.

  • Keelvol - 2012-02-17 10:30


      Shirley - 2012-02-17 15:36

      Apes are intellegent,productive and take care of their troupe.

  • Blane - 2012-02-17 10:33

    He should've been hung back then

      cheryl.kristiansen - 2012-02-17 10:47

      the word is "hanged" Never "hung" when it comes to people. If you believe in it so much, at least get the terminology correct!

      Shirley - 2012-02-17 10:52

      Tsk,tsk nasty,nasty Cheryl-I take it you are perfect in every way,shape and form??

      koo.doyle - 2012-02-17 11:17

      No one likes a grammar nazi school marm Cheryl. It's about what he is saying. Honestly, get a life.

      Keelvol - 2012-02-17 11:29

      Hey Cheryl - im well hanged. Want some?

      Ian - 2012-02-17 11:33

      Cheryl. Well done. People who can't spell or don't know the rules of grammar, just weaken their arguments by being seen as ignorant.

      Tuner - 2012-02-17 11:53

      Don't worry Cheryl, at least those ignoramuses received some education today, even if they don't appreciate it. Go for it!

      Keelvol - 2012-02-17 12:49

      PMSL - "just weaken their arguments by being seen as ignorant" - Pot calling the kettle black methinks

      the_gob - 2012-02-17 14:06

      @Keelvol, better put a space there "methinks" before the grammar Nazis (Cheryl and co) come after you...please (Cheryl and co) come on, focus on the forums not on grammar, as I recall, SA has 11 official languages, so it's fair to assume that English is not everyone's first language.

  • Bryan - 2012-02-17 10:36

    Beautiful thing that Karma....

  • Hendrik - 2012-02-17 10:38

    Once a rubbish always a rubbish. Glad justice finally caught up to him. Now we need to see Robert McBride got down good and solid as well.

  • dikotsim - 2012-02-17 10:39

    It is sad that he fought and defeated the most sophisticated system ever, and we supported him as we weer a collective fighting together in our own different ways. Some went to exile while he and millions more stayed to fight on. Now that the struggle has been won, the likes of him were left to fend for themselves while "all the former exiles" are taken care off and getting fatter fatter everyday. This mans plight could have been different had everybody been equal under the new regime, but it is not like that hence we have such sad cases. Yeah i know he made his choices and blah blah, BUT, he probably had very little choices infront of him and the devil took advantage of him as a result. Yes, a crime is a crime is a crime, but i can mitigate for this man. Saint James bombing was not a crime,robbing a bank is. Lets stick to that one.

      gavin.simpson.0 - 2012-02-17 10:43

      Go join him... scum.

      ivan.coetzee2 - 2012-02-17 10:45

      Just shows you what the ANC is all about doesn't it, and people like him still vote for these "leaders", what a joke!

      cheryl.kristiansen - 2012-02-17 10:50

      @dikotsim. You may say that murdering people in cold blood while they are sitting in church is not a crime but it is most certainly very sick. There is no excuse for what he did back then, just as there isn't now.

      Shirley - 2012-02-17 10:54

      The thing you should be fighting most is your mental instability!

      Evan - 2012-02-17 11:04

      Attacking a church, not a crime... Hmmm right... Innocent unarmed civilians were murdered and you don't see anything wrong with it.

      J.A.Rademan - 2012-02-17 11:19

      Whites are now oppressed, and discriminated against by the black government. How about some white thug blowing up a black church and then saying it is not a crime. A reckoning is coming if blacks keep on using the same argument. Killing people is a crime that can never be justified.

      Kevin - 2012-02-17 11:25

      Support your bra...until the next time him and his sort murder someone in your family...then what???KNOBNOSE

      harley1 - 2012-02-17 11:25

      you stupid prick !!

      Peter - 2012-02-17 11:29

      @DIK! you need you kop read son...

      Heibrin - 2012-02-17 11:35

      Typical of the ANC to have attacked 'soft targets', since they weren't man enough to attack actual targets. How this $#%@# got amnesty for cowardly murder is beyond me.

      Bibi - 2012-02-17 11:47

      St James was a horrendous, cowardly crime. A church full of innocent (multicultural) people with children. How did that futher the cause.

      Bibi - 2012-02-17 11:54

      @dikotsim - St James was one of the most open and liberal religious churches in SA. I was a cowardly heinious crime under the guise of futhering the cause. What you are actually saying is: any political group can now take out your whole family because it is for some or other political cause and it wont be a crime. But robbing your house would be a crime.

      Irene - 2012-02-17 12:06

      Dikotsim - you need help. Go see your nearest shrink.

      Sharon - 2012-02-17 12:12

      @ Dikotsim - hang on while I get a tissue - oh, no wait - sorry, false alarm!!

      David - 2012-02-17 12:23

      Why was Derby Lewis not released by the TRC, as you point out that was all a revolutionary time, so surely white and black revolutionaries should be treated equally, becuase from the looks of things another revolution is coming under Malema and many white folk won't stand by and just watch, so who is in the right and who is in the wrong when the murder of innocent people begins.

      Joanne - 2012-02-17 15:53

      Strange that you see an attack on a non-racist church as being a major blow for freedom - I was around, it's not a legend to me, but a real event - and most people fighting the apartheid regime thought it was a step too far by out-of-control APLA youths at the time. Members of the congregation killed were Guy Cooper Javens, Richard Oliver O'Kill, Gerhard Dennis Harker, Wesley Alfonso Harker, Denise Gordon, Mirtle Joan Smith, Marita Ackermann, Andrey Kayl, Karamjin Oleg, Varaksa Velentin and Pavel Valuet. The last four on this list were Russian seamen attending the service as part of a church outreach programe. Another Russian seaman, Dmitri Makogon, lost both legs and an arm in the attack - not even South Africans. We have to broaden our minds and start fitting in with the rest of the planet sometime.

      Vaal-Donkie - 2012-03-10 08:43

      The true colours of the Afrfican is showing through. We should allow people like dikotsim to spew their filth unmolested so that thinking people will become more and more uncomfortable siding with these fossils. The only way to get rid of illness is to let it pass freely out of the anus of society. By obstructing it, we only keep the disease around for longer.

  • ivan.coetzee2 - 2012-02-17 10:42

    Yup this terrorist deserves the daeth penalty!

      Thabiso Senior - 2012-02-17 11:11

      Take it easy Ivan, prison will sort him out

  • Evan - 2012-02-17 11:00

    Those who attacked a church probably should not have been given amnesty in the first place. I hardly think a church is a political target. Be that as it may, this guy is behind bars now and hopefully for the full duration of his sentence. Unless I'm mistaken why does his greed suddenly have bearing, he is a murderer, that is the crime!

  • kitneyi - 2012-02-17 11:01

    Good for you judge, talk about a twisted excuse after having been shown mercy for atrocious acts.

  • ludlowdj - 2012-02-17 11:04

    The truth is that all the members of the ANC involved in the actual struggle and armed attacks on civilians, have either become government officials or criminals c(or should that be "and/or") This is not a South African thing this is the outcome of any revolutionary army as history testifies.

  • sylvester - 2012-02-17 11:16

    Once a killer, always a killer. Expunging of criminal acts in South Africa comes too easy - The mentality is that if you got away with it the first time, why not the second, third, forth time? Anyway, prison is lekka ma mate! Three meals, roof over the head, education, free medical, transport, clothing, etc.

  • desertratbkf - 2012-02-17 11:33

    Once a filthy criminal, always a filthy criminal! Good riddance you vermin!

  • Joan Samuels Johannisen - 2012-02-17 11:42

    I lost my 2 cousins in St James bombing and I can still see the pAin and sadness in my aunts eyes..... So he deserves what his getting at least his family can still go and visit him....we will never see Wesley and Gerard as far as I'm concerned he can rot in jail

      Shirley - 2012-02-17 11:53

      Condolences.I doubt anyone would want to see him!

  • Joan Samuels Johannisen - 2012-02-17 11:43

    I lost my 2 cousins in St James bombing and I can still see the pAin and sadness in my aunts eyes..... So he deserves what his getting at least his family can still go and visit him....we will never see Wesley and Gerard as far as I'm concerned he can rot in jail

  • Gail - 2012-02-17 12:07

    Well - doesn't this prove the old adage - 'a leopard never changes it's spots' I am battling with the concept of forgiveness for this mongrel. He really deserves to be strung up by his toes. Instead he is going to jail, free board and lodging, free medical aid, tv, cell phones allowed, lots of chommies to fraternize with - explain to me how that would be punishment for him.

  • edandchris - 2012-02-17 12:14

    Once rotten always rotten!!!

  • jim.dickson2 - 2012-02-17 13:14

    A leopard does not change ots spots. Had we had the death penalty at the time of the massacre maybe another life would have been saved.

  • RobertKeeling - 2012-02-17 13:39

    What come around goes around. He should have had the death penalty after the cowardly attack on the church and it's worhippers.

  • pages:
  • 1