Gardener jailed for murder

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A Mamelodi man who cut off his elderly employer's finger and took part in his murder during a violent house robbery in Waverley three years ago was jailed for life on Friday.

The High Court in Pretoria sentenced Petrus Moloko, 25, to life and 15 years imprisonment for the August 2009 murder and robbery of 64-year-old Pretoria building contractor Andries Pretorius.

Pretorius was attacked with an empty whiskey bottle and knives by two robbers, who drank his whiskey while waiting for him to open the security gate to his bedroom.

He was tied up with his own ties and left to bleed to death on his bed while his attackers ransacked his house. Then they loaded goods into his car and made off in it.

Moloko's DNA was linked to a cigarette stub found on the murder scene.

The court accepted the evidence of self-confessed killer Teko Radebe, 26, who was sentenced to 22 years' imprisonment last year after confessing to his role in the murder.

Radebe testified that he and Moloko had planned and executed the robbery at a tavern after Moloko told him that Pretorius owed him money for being injured on the job.

Pretorius's son and two daughters wiped away tears after Moloko was sentenced.

They said they felt relieved that the case was finally over and were happy about the sentence.

“His death was really a big loss for us. We've learnt to live with it, but the gap will always be there,” said his daughter Izelle Jooste.

Judge Winston Msimeki said Moloko's conduct had been heinous and gruesome.

“Photos of the scene show blood all over the deceased's house. Your conduct was barbaric and savage.”

Msimeki said it was unthinkable that Moloko and Radebe had not foreseen that Pretorius would try to defend himself and that their conduct would lead to his death.

He had indeed tried to use his firearm, but was overpowered by the intruders.

“You cannot remain in a person's house, drink his liquor, wait for him to wake up and then be heard to say this was not planned. Their conduct demonstrates nothing else but planning,” Msimeki said.

He dismissed Moloko's application for leave to appeal. - Sapa

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