Pretoria - The family of prominent Laudium businessman Omar “Omie” Carrim, who was brutally murdered in his home six years ago, is relieved that two of his killers were brought to book on Thursday, but they will not get closure until the rest of the gang has been apprehended.
Clement Mametja was sentenced to an effective 15 years’ imprisonment in the North Gauteng High Court for the murder and robbery of Carrim, while security guard Winners Lekgoro was sentenced to an effective 25 years.
Carrim, 68, was beaten to death in his Mink Street home by a group of robbers. His wife Nurjehan Carrim, who was praying in her room at the time, was also brutally assaulted. She spent two weeks in intensive care with brain injuries after she was pistol-whipped in the face and on the head.
The robbers used a key and a remote control - supplied to them by Lekgoro - to gain entry to the house. Lekgoro was a security guard for the family. The court earlier heard that he was like a child in the Carrim household.
After being hit on the head and bleeding profusely, Omie Carrim was dragged from room to room as the robbers hunted for money and valuables.
They fled with jewellery and foreign currency and locked the couple inside the house.
Although on the brink of death, Carrim managed to open the door for his son by using his teeth. He then sat on the sofa, asked his son for a glass of water and closed his eyes. “He never opened his eyes again,” his son Ebrahim told the court.
Carrim’s widow was so traumatised by the events that she could not attend the trial, apart from when she gave evidence. She was also not in a physical state to witness two of her attackers being sent to jail on Thursday.
She earlier told the court of their nightmare ordeal. She became emotional as she said her husband, minutes before he died, tried to assure her that he was doing fine.
Her husband was in the lounge that night and she was in her room, she said. When she looked up she saw one of the robbers in her room. Without saying anything he hit her on the head. Her bleeding husband was brought to the bedroom and although he did not resist, and promised to give them what they wanted, he was attacked further.
His wife was tied up and shortly after passed out. She said she came round when family members shook her and took her to the lounge, where her husband was.
Judge Sulette Potterill said the security guard was the one who instigated the robbery. He also kept watch. That was the reason why he received a heftier sentence.
“By robbing the family, they did not only take their possessions, but also robbed them of a father and husband.”
The judge said the woman was subjected to “outrageous “ violence, although she did not resist. The same went for the the victim, who was even willing to show the robbers the safe.
Judge Potterill said house robberies were a daily occurrence and the community looked at the courts to deal harshly with the perpetrators.
Zulika Alli, sister-in-law of the dead man, said they would have preferred a life sentence for each of the men, but they were happy with the 25 years meted out to the security guard.
“This trial took a very long time to conclude. We are just relieved that two of the men are behind bars. They robbed the family of a wonderful man who is irreplaceable,” she said after sentencing.
Ebrahim Carrim vowed to find the rest of the gang. “We will carry on looking for them,” he told the Pretoria News.`