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Life sentence for community watch murder

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IOL nov 7 prison bars

AFP

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Pretoria - A Thokoza man was jailed for life by the High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday for murdering a community watch member during a robbery.

Mandla Ntuli, 30, received a life sentence and 73 years imprisonment on eight charges of murder, attempted murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, assault and illegal possession of a firearm.

All sentences would run concurrently with his life sentence.

Passing sentence, Judge Winston Msimeki said Ntuli was part of a gang who had robbed the Mnandi Spar in Centurion in February 2009.

The gang maimed people, killed a man and seriously wounded another, he said.

A member of the Mnandi community watch, Andre Erlank, survived after being shot in the chest while raising help on his two-way radio.

The robbers shot and killed Erlank's friend and fellow community watch member Louis Viljoen, 39, in his car while fleeing from the scene.

Customers and staff inside the Spar were manhandled, dragged around, kicked and hit with firearms.

The gang escaped with over R19 000 from the store plus the money and cellphones they stole from customers and staff.

Msimeki praised the community watch and said it was commendable they did not take the law into their own hands, because if they did, Ntuli's two co-accused would have been killed.

Mzokhona Sipho Nene of Thokoza and Sbusiso Sfiso Sibiya of Natalspruit were also arrested near the scene shortly after the murder and robbery.

Both were still being sought after they skipped bail. - Sapa


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