The Provincial Commissioner of Police in Limpopo Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe has welcomed the hefty sentences handed down by the Polokwane High Court on Friday, 24 March 2023 against seven vigilantes who were convicted of killing a 25-year-old man at gaMakgwakgwane village in Seshego policing area on 30 August 2020.
The trial court heard that the accused aged between 27 and 58 kidnapped and assaulted the victim before dousing him with flammable substance and set him alight.
The group had accused him of stealing and of raping an old woman in the area. He was also accused of bringing criminals to their area who were terrorising community members.
The Police were summoned with emergency personnel and he was taken to hospital. The victim managed to provide the Police with the names of suspects before he succumbed to his injuries after few days.
The case was assigned to investigating officer at Seshego Saps Detective Unit, Sergeant Masedi Gabriel, who thoroughly linked the suspects with the incident and together with his team the suspects were arrested.
The accused were sentenced as follows:
1. Mabusele Andries Sturu (30) sentenced to 12 years for Murder and 10 years for kidnapping.
2. Mathobela Johannes (46) sentenced to 18 years in Prison for Murder.
3. Nkoana Khutso (32) sentenced to 10 years for murder and 18 years for Kidnapping.
4. Kgaabi Alpheus (33) sentenced to 18 years for murder and 10 years for Kidnapping.
5. Mathala Lincan (29) sentenced to life imprisonment for murder and 10 years for kidnapping.
6. Komape Phuti (39) sentenced to 12 years for Murder 10 years for Kidnapping,
7. Maleka Samuel (58) sentenced to 15 years for Murder and 10 years for Kidnapping.
All accused were declared unfit to possess firearms.
“These hefty sentences should send a clear message to everyone that the Police will exercise zero tolerance to any community members who continue to take the law into their own hands,” said Lieutenant General Hadebe.
“I also want to appreciate the investigating officer and his team for the job well done,” concluded Lieutenant General Hadebe.
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