Pretoria - A KwaMhlanga man was jailed for life on Thursday for killing a Pretoria North mother and her two children.
The High Court in Pretoria sentenced Sipho Masiqa, 36, to life imprisonment on three counts of murder and 28 years' imprisonment on charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances, kidnapping and indecent assault.
Acting Judge Bert Bam described Masiqa as a dangerous and savage criminal who had to be removed from society.
Masiqa strangled and suffocated eight-month-old Avheani and four-year-old Adivhaho before robbing their mother Thifhelimbilu Mashau of her car and forcing her to accompany him to Ga-Rankuwa, in July 2010.
He then strangled and stabbed her before dumping her half-naked body in the veld.
Masiqa's friend Raymond Matshaba, 30, was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for being an accessory after the fact to the robbery and murders.
He admitted stripping and burning Mashau's car to destroy any fingerprints after realising she and her children had been murdered.
He handed himself over to the police five days later.
Bam said there must have been some contact between Masiqa and Mashau before the incident, but Masiqa was the only one who could tell the court what had really happened, and he refused to tell the truth.
Masiqa gave several versions of what happened, including one where Mashau asked him for a firearm to kill herself and asked him to kill her when he could not produce a firearm.
He suggested she might have killed her own children.
In court he claimed she had asked him to stage a robbery at her house and that he had nothing to do with the murders.
Bam said Mashau's murder had been an act of savagery.
“The killing of the two children was brutal and barbaric. Both of them were straggled and suffocated,” Bam said.
“Why they were murdered remains a mystery. It seems so senseless to kill little children. They could not have posed any threat to the murderer.” - Sapa