State wants life sentence for gardener

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A Mamelodi man, who cut off his elderly employer's finger during a violent house robbery in Waverley three years ago, will be sentenced in the High Court in Pretoria next week.

Judge Winston Msimeki earlier found Petrus Moloko, 25, guilty of the August 2009 murder and robbery of 64-year-old Pretoria building contractor Andries Pretorius.

Pretorius was viciously attacked with an empty whiskey bottle and knives by two robbers who feasted on his whiskey while waiting for him to get up.

He was tied up with his own ties and left to bleed to death on his bed while his attackers ransacked his house, loaded goods into his car and made off with their loot.

Moloko's DNA was linked to a cigarette stub found on the murder scene.

The court accepted the evidence of self-confessed killer Teko Radebe, 26, who was last year sentenced to 22 years' imprisonment after confessing to his role in the murder.

Radebe testified that he and Moloko had planned and executed the robbery at a tavern after Moloko told him Pretorius owed him money for being injured on the job.

He said Pretorius had been hit on the head with an empty liquor bottle and stabbed repeatedly during a struggle, but could not explain how his finger was cut off.

Corné Pruis, for the State, on Friday argued that Moloko's case differed from that of Radebe and that he should be sentenced to life imprisonment.

He said Moloko had killed an old, fragile, defenceless man and deserved no mercy from the court.

The murder had been shockingly brutal and disturbing and the law maker wanted murderers “who acted like animals” to be jailed for life, Pruis added.

The defence argued that Moloko and Radebe had been equal participants in the offence and that it would be unwise to differentiate between their sentences.

It was argued that the murder had not been pre-planned because the accused were not armed when they entered the house, but armed themselves with knives at the scene.

Probation officer Modiba Mothotoana said in a report Moloko posed a risk to society as he had still not taken any form of responsibility for his actions.

“The accused does not show any sign of remorse,” he said.

Mothotoana said Pretorius' death had a severe effect emotionally on his son Arno and daughters Tanya Symons and Izelle Jooste.

Arno Pretorius said he would never forgive his father's killers, while Tanya became very emotional when she thought about her father's death and said she would never be able to make peace with the manner in which he had died.

Msimeki will sentence Moloko on May 18. - Sapa


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