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A 27-year-old man was sentenced to 20 years in jail for murder and theft after he was found guilty of stoning a Niekerkshoop woman to death and stealing a chicken and groceries from her.
Salmon Jakobus of Vaalblok Niekerkshoop, was sentenced to a further two years in jail for theft while his co-accused, Rudolf Gous, 19, of 24 Flamine Street, Niekerkshoop, was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment for theft.
Both were found not guilty of raping the woman, Lena Saaiman.
The Northern Cape High Court ruled on Monday that Jakobus’s sentences would run concurrently, meaning he will spend an effective 20 years in prison.
According to a post-mortem report, handed in during the trial, Saaiman had suffered several fractures to her head, which was indicated as the cause of her death. She had been thrown or hit with stones, as well as stabbed with a sharp object.
Two days before Saaiman’s body was found on September 7, 2012, she and a friend August Bosman, walked from the farm to Niekershoop. Bosman returned the same day to the farm but Saaiman remained in Niekerkshoop. When she did not return to the farm on September 9, Bosman went to look for her but could not find her.
He reported her as missing to the police. That same evening, Saaiman’s body was found in a veld next to the road near Nierkerkshoop. She was naked.
State advocate, Rowena Makhaga, pointed out that Saaiman’s death had been brutal, and argued that she had been stoned, stabbed, raped and robbed of her groceries.
Handing down the sentence, Judge Hennie Lacock said that it was not his intention to give Jakobus the minimum sentence.
“The woman was young and walked from town with the groceries she had bought for her family. The accused decided to rob her and take away her right to live. He threw heavy stones at her head and stabbed her and left her naked.”
Lacock pointed out that her neck had also been broken.
“In his testimony, Jakobus lied and blamed the murder on his co-accused. He pleaded not guilty and he showed no remorse for the crime he committed.”
He added that murder was a serious crime and it meant that no one was safe in the streets, in their homes or their place of work.
“Society always has to be on the lookout for people like the accused, who roam the streets committing crime.
“The fact that both accused had previous convictions shows that rehabilitation in this matter does not work because they never learned from their mistakes. Alcohol played a great role in this matter, as the defence stated, however, it is not an excuse to kill,” Lacock said.
“They humiliated the woman by leaving her body naked. This is a sign that the accused had no respect for the deceased.
“Gous saw the need to steal from a dead person, which is a further sign that he had no respect for other people’s belongings.”
Lacock pointed out that what shocked him the most was that not only was the woman stoned to death, but she was also searched and her groceries stolen.
The deceased’s family was at the court on Monday to hear the sentencing. Sandra Saaiman pointed out that this had been a brutal murder and the accused deserved life imprisonment.
“We know Jacokus’ family and he grew up in front of our eyes.
“We will never forgive him for taking away a mother, sister and a family member. He robbed an eight-year-old child the opportunity of growing up to be an adult with her mother raising her and giving her love and support.”
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