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Pietermaritzburg - The killers of popular KwaZulu-Natal farmer Willem Weites have been sentenced to life in prison.
Mzomuhle Ntshangase, 30, and Moses Sigawuge, 34, were jailed for life plus 15 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances by Pietermaritzburg High Court Judge Thoba Poyo-Dlwati.
A third accused, Big-Boy Ncube, 29, who was not part of the murder plot, but who drove the killers to the Weites’ Ngome farm, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the murder and 15 years for robbery.
The three men pleaded guilty to attacking Weites, 78, his daughter, Everlien, and their workers at their farm near Vryheid on the morning of October 21 last year.
Everlien and her mother, 76-year-old Gerdina, were assaulted by the robbers, who made off with R40 000 cash, jewellery, cellphones and the dairy farmers’ bakkie.
Weites was shot while trying to defend himself and his family after he threw a spanner at the attackers, who were armed with knives and firearms.
The attackers had approached him on the pretext of buying milk, and then produced their weapons.
Judge Poyo-Dlwati said it was just and fair that those who took the farmer’s life should spend the rest of their lives in prison.
Before he was sentenced on Friday, the mastermind of the robbery, Ntshangase, took the witness stand and apologised to the family, the court and the community, who are suffering as a result of the murder. He admitted that he’d known Weites well, and how much he had helped the community.