Gang leader to appeal grenade murders sentence

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Johannesburg - A gang leader will appeal against his double life sentence for masterminding a hand grenade attack in which an Mpumalanga woman and her nine-year-old granddaughter died.

The appeal of Yegen Naidoo, 44, from Durban would be heard in the Nelspruit circuit of the Pretoria High Court on January 20, a Sapa correspondent reported.

He was sentenced to two life sentences by Justice Ronel Tolmay in May.

Tolmay found Naidoo had planned the attack in which Patricia Pillay and her granddaughter Yetska were killed in Valencia on December 23, 2006.

Naidoo had suspected the Pillay family of harbouring his girlfriend and child, who had run away from him. The court heard that the Pillays did not know the woman and child.

Naidoo recruited Mohamed Ismail Khan, 41, and Zamuk Amod Khan, 51, to commit the murders and supplied the hand grenade used in the attack on the Pillay's home.

The two Khans testified during the trial that Naidoo led a Durban-based gang called Bad Company. They told the court they had acted on Naidoo's instructions.

Mohamed testified that Naidoo warned him not to return to Durban without throwing the grenade, or he would be killed.

Both Khans are serving life sentences and an additional 20 years each for the hand grenade attack.

Naidoo handed himself over to the Durban organised crime unit on June 7, 2011.

In addition to the two life sentences, he was sentenced to seven years each for possession of explosives and conspiracy to commit murder, and to eight years each for the attempted murder of Patricia's children, Daphne and Kevin, who were in the house at the time. They were injured.

The sentences would run concurrently. - Sapa

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