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Murder of Bela-Bela farmer and his employee, accused sentenced

The Limpopo Division of the High Court in Polokwane on Wednesday, 19 April 2023, sentenced Lazarus Justice Mohapi (28) to two life sentences and a combined 48 years imprisonment for the murder of a Bela-Bela farmer and his employee in 2019.

The convicted farm murderer Lazarus Mohapi, was found guilty of two counts of murder, conspiracy to commit robbery, robbery with aggravating circumstances, unlawful possession of firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, and contravention of Immigration Act.

During the trial the court heard how Mohapi on 17 August 2019, attacked Mr Simon Malebane when he entered his farm in Radium under Bela-Bela policing area, brutally assaulted and killed him.

The accused also assaulted and killed an employee on the farm, Daniel Leburu.

An Intelligence driven operation comprising of the Crime Intelligence and Detectives in Bela-Bela was activated to track down the suspect(s).

One suspect (Mohapi) was arrested three days after the incident.

The case was assigned to Captain Dana Smith of Bela-Bela Detectives and she diligently worked on the case to ensure that the suspect was incarcerated for life.

The sentences were passed as follows:

Count 01: 10 years imprisonment
Count 02: Life imprisonment
Count 03: Life imprisonment
Count 04: 15 years imprisonment
Count 05: 15 years imprisonment
Count 06: 5 years imprisonment
Count 07: 3 years imprisonment

The court ordered that the sentence in Count 01, 03, 04, 05, 06, and 07 shall run concurrently with the sentence in Count 02. Effective sentence is Life Imprisonment.

The Provincial Commissioner of police in Limpopo Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe has welcomed the hefty sentence.

“This sentence should send a clear message to other criminals that police will always be relentless when pursuing perpetrators of gruesome crimes and make sure they face full might of the law,” concluded Lieutenant General Hadebe

Read about more farm attacks here

SAPS Newsroom

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