The men convicted of murdering a homeowner, assaulting his wife, and placing their grandson in the oven have been sentenced in the Emalahleni Regional Court in Mpumalanga.
Khulufelo Makhudu, 24, and Gift ‘Five Minutes’ Mbola, 28, were convicted on charges of premeditated murder of Petrus Cornelius Swanepoel and robbery with aggravating circumstances for the crimes they committed.
On August 28, 2019, entered the home of the victims in Klipfontein, eMalahleni and found Swanepoel’s wife and her five-year-old grandson in the kitchen.
The men took the grandson and put him inside the oven before they started assaulting the grandmother with a firearm, she was also tied up.
The duo took two plasma televisions, three cellphones, jewellery, and a firearm from the home.
On their way out, they met with Swanepoel and ordered him to lay down.
They shot him. The duo also took Swanepoel’s vehicle which was later found abandoned near the Kusile Power Station.
Evidence before the court revealed the two were nabbed via their fingerprints found in the abandoned vehicle.
State Prosecutor Maureen Nkosi-Mahlangu led evidence of the surviving victim and brought forth the testimony of the witnesses who bought the stolen items.
The court heard that one of the witnesses transported the duo to fetch the stolen items from the bush where they hid it.
During the victim impact statement delivered to the court by Swanepoel’s wife, the court heard her eye socket was shattered after the assault, and her grandson was severely traumatised and not coping. She is also set to lose her house as she can no longer afford the payments as her husband was the breadwinner.
The magistrate sentenced Makhudu and Mbola both to life imprisonment for murder and 15 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances.
The duo were also both declared unfit to possess a firearm in terms of the Firearms Control Act 60 of 2000.
The spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in Mpumalanga, Monica Nyuswa, said the sentence imposed on the accused was welcomed and extended its appreciation to the investigating team and the prosecutor for a job well done.
“We hope that this sentence will serve as a deterrent to those who are planning to commit any offence, especially violent crimes,” Nyuswa said.