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The killers of crime intelligence unit officer Captain Carrim Alli have each been sentenced to life imprisonment for what the court described as an "exceptionally cruel and callous murder".
Pretoria High Court judge Ronnie Bosielo said on Thursday he had had the misfortune to see the pictures of the charred body of Alli. These depicted him lying next to the Wallmannsthal Road.
"He died a particularly painful and cruel death. His death was both unnecessary and not justifiable," the judge said.
Both Isa Mohammed, 34, and Tienie de Bruyn, 24, with their hands cuffed, displayed little emotion as Bosielo condemned them for the cruel manner in which they killed Alli. They hugged friends and family and even exchanged a few smiles before they were led to the cells.
This prompted angry family members of Alli to remark that the two showed no remorse. Ismail, the older brother of Alli, said he was especially upset that Mohammed had betrayed the Alli family's trust. "He often visited us and my brother trusted him," he said.
Ismail Alli still maintains that the two men were the "small fry" and he vowed to get behind the "truth". He said it was known in Laudium circles who the "big guns were who gave instructions for Alli to be killed".
Ismail Alli said his brother was working on about five cases at the time of his death and the same people were linked in all the cases.
He said he will work together with the police to investigate the matter further and to bring the "guilty" to book. Ismail Alli said money played a big part in silencing Mohammed.
But both Mohammed and De Bruyn maintained to the end that they were innocent. Their counsel did not argue in mitigation of sentence and said they accepted that life imprisonment was appropriate in this case. Counsel for De Bruyn said although his client was not remorseful for something he did not do, the court had to take into consideration that Mohammed manipulated De Bruyn.
But Bosielo said there should be no distinction made between the two regarding sentencing.
The judge said that both Alli and Mohammed were police officers who took an oath to ensure that law and order prevailed.
Mohammed, he said, betrayed his colleague and this had to be particularly demoralising and shocking to the police. He said both Mohammed and De Bruyn made huge sums of money by defrauding the SAPS through the supply of stationery and this enabled Mohammed to live a lavish lifestyle.
Mohammed, an Afrikaner-born Christo Duvenhage, converted to Islam a few years ago. He was a sergeant stationed at the SAPS headquarters. Up to now he had been suspended with full benefits.
Alli had to be killed, the judge said, to cover the tracks of the two, as he was investigating corruption within the police at the time of his death. "It was a well thought out and orchestrated plan to eliminate the deceased," the judge said.
Alli, who was found burning next to his State-issued car on October 2 2004 in no uncertain terms told witnesses on the scene that his killer was Isa Mohammed. He even spelled the name out to them.
Bosielo said all Alli's nerve endings had been destroyed by that time as he suffered 100 percent burns. Smoke was also billowing out of his mouth as he spoke. "I saw the pictures. He was completely burnt out."
The judge said Mohammed and De Bruyn left Alli in agony and left the scene as if nothing had happened. It was not surprising that this killing had sent shockwaves through the community and the police fraternity, he said.
The two each received an additional 12-year sentence for burning Alli's car and for the unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition. This sentence will run concurrently with the life term.
The defence is expected to apply for leave to appeal against the convictions and sentences.