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Pretoria - One of the attackers of a Willow Glen stroke victim who was gunned down in the driveway of his home when he could not get out of his car fast enough has been found guilty of murder.
Goodwill Thapelo Mafatshe, 30, did not show Henry Vorster any goodwill when he and two accomplices hijacked the 57-year-old man and his wife Magrieta in the driveway of their complex as the couple arrived home after a family braai.
The widow this week testified that they were returning to their townhouse late on the evening of November 25, 2009. She was driving, and as they approached the gate to the complex she noticed a car parked in a shady spot. There was nobody inside.
As she waited for the electronic gate to open, she felt a gun being shoved into her face and a man repeatedly telling her to get out of the car. Vorster said she could see in his eyes that he was ready to shoot.
She told her husband to get out, but he was slow to react as he was paralysed down the one side of his body.
One of the robbers pulled him out of the vehicle and Vorster heard shots. Her husband was shot in the neck as he was pulled from the vehicle and a second time in the chest as he lay helplessly on the ground.
Vorster wanted to rush to her husband’s aid, but realised that she had also been shot in the arm and leg. The robbers sped away in the couple’s red Polo.
A neighbour took the pair to hospital, where Vorster was declared dead on arrival.
The car was found the next day with Mafatshe in the driver’s seat. The police testified that when he saw them approaching he jumped out of the car and over a fence, and tried to run away.
He was shot in the leg and arrested.
In pleading not guilty to a charge of murder, attempted murder and robbery, Mafatshe claimed he bought the car from a friend called Lawrence, for R30 000.
Mafatshe testified that Lawrence approached him, saying he was selling the car because he was getting married and needed cash.
He said he saw the papers for the car and it appeared to be registered in his friend’s name. Mafatshe said he could only get R15 000 together, but Lawrence insisted on more money.
He battled to get hold of more cash and phoned a man called Lollo to borrow money from him.
Lollo had previously won R50 000 and loaned people small amounts.
Mafatshe said he was arrested outside Lollo’s home. Lollo was going to give Mafatshe R100 which he owed to Mafatshe’s uncle.
Judge Mmonoa Teffo said there were a lot of strange aspects to Mafatshe’s evidence, such as why he would bother to fetch R100 if he needed much more money to pay for the car.
She said the fact that he was caught inside the hijacked vehicle and then tried to run away from the police, proved that he was one of the robbers.
The other two robbers are still on the run, but the judge said they all acted with common purpose when they attacked the couple. She convicted Mafatshe of murder, attempted murder, robbery and the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Mafatshe will be sentenced on Monday.