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Pretoria - Two Mozambican men were jailed for life by the High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday for killing a student in Sunnyside three years ago.
Judge Bert Bam sentenced Ebrahim Mitchell Goulap and Paul Samuel to life imprisonment, along with local citizen Tebogo Mapeka Modise, for the February 2010 murder of Rifarothe Tshililo Tshikororo.
Goulap was sentenced to an additional 41 years' imprisonment for robbing Tshikororo and his girlfriend of two cellphones and a laptop computer, and for unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.
Samuel and Modise were each given an extra 30 years' imprisonment for robbing Tshikororo and another man, Yusuf Hawazi, at a house in Pretoria West just three days later.
A fourth alleged member of the gang, Tebogo Mothola, is still being sought by the police after skipping bail earlier this year.
Tshikororo, an honours student who had completed an exam that morning, was socialising with friends at his girlfriend's flat in Sunnyside when the gang entered through the unlocked door and ordered everyone to lie down.
Tshikororo was in the process of rising from the couch when he was shot.
His friends rushed him to a nearby hospital, but he was pronounced dead on arrival because of a gunshot wound to the chest.
Hawazi was shot in the leg and had to run for his life when Samuel and Modise robbed him of his cellphone and cash.
Bam said Hawazi was fortunate to escape with his life and the trauma he experienced was self-evident.
He said the robbery at the Sunnyside flat had no doubt been planned in advance.
“They came prepared and did not hesitate to kill the deceased in the process.
“It appears that robbers of the calibre of the accused do not have any respect for life.
“They killed the deceased... and did not hesitate to handle Hawazi and shoot him.
“Goulap and Samuel are Mozambicans. Our government extended a hand of friendship to them by granting them the right to stay in this country.
“They clearly abused that courtesy of the government by committing serious crimes in this case and even in the past,” he said.
Bam said Modise was a South African and it begged explanation why he became involved, because he did not have financial problems, he was qualified for several occupations and was apparently involved in a lucrative family business.
“The only inference that can be drawn is that he is inherently evil and by nature a criminal,” Bam said.
He emphasised that none of the accused had shown any remorse at all and, by their conduct, ruled out any possibility of rehabilitation.
“The accused are mature men over the age of 30. They elected to follow criminal careers. They are clearly dangerous criminals and should be removed from society permanently,” Bam said.
Tshikororo's mother Moreti described her son as a peaceful man who loved studying and who helped others to turn away from crime.
She said she was still praying for her son, that his exams had gone well, but barely two hours later he was dead.
“I sometimes ask myself why the child I loved so much was taken away. Maybe it was because I loved him too much?”