Stellenbosch magistrate jails Berry Farm attackers for 23 years
Cape Town - The Stellenbosch Regional court has sentenced two men to 23 years in prison for the attack on berry farmer Raymond O’Grady and his wife, Betty, on their Hillcrest Berry Farm in the Cape Winelands District in August last year.
Magistrate Fezile Tonisi found the two, Manilisi Sphuhle, 26, and Luthando Ngam, 31, guilty on three separate counts.
The counts were burglary with intent to rob, robbery with aggravating circumstances and assault with intent to seriously injure.
For the first charge, both received 15 years imprisonment, on the second charge, the sentence was three years imprisonment and the third charge carried a sentence of 15 years imprisonment which all together came to 33 years imprisonment.
However, the court ordered that 10 of the years for the third charge would run concurrently with the 15 years to be served on the first charge, effectively ensuring that they serve 23 years behind bars.
During the attack, Sphuhle and Ngam took R7 000 in cash, a watch, a gold ring, an iPhone and a Toyota Hilux bakkie.
Agriculture MEC Ivan Meyer said: “I congratulate the SAPS and the National Prosecuting Authority for the successful arrest, conviction, and sentencing of the attackers of Raymond O’Grady and his wife, Betty.”
“I further welcome the sentence of an effective 23 years imprisonment handed down. It signals that those who attack our farming communities will be dealt with harshly and to the full extent of the law. Rural safety is a key priority in the Western Cape,” said Meyer.
“Any attack on the farming community is an attack on our rural economy. We will not tolerate attacks on our farmers and farm workers,” said Meyer.