Pretoria -

The killers of Pretoria businessman Jan Engelbrecht were jailed for life on Friday by the High Court in Pretoria.

Pleasure Mokoena, 28, and fellow robber Lerato Mancidi, 30, were both sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering Engelbrecht, 45, during a robbery at his home in Booysens, Pretoria, in September 2008.

Both were also sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment for robbery with aggravating circumstances, and eight years' imprisonment for attempting to murder Engelbrecht's stepson Evan.

Mokoena was also given 11 years in prison for the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

All sentences will in terms of current legislation run concurrently with their life sentences.

Judge Bert Bam said Mokoena was a cold-blooded killer and Mancidi a man with a habit of taking part in armed robberies.

Mancidi was last year sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for a robbery committed in 2006.

Neither of them had shown the slightest remorse for what they did and both were dangerous criminals who should be permanently removed from society.

Bam described Engelbrecht as a hero, whose last act on earth was to save his daughter's life by pushing her out of the way when he saw Mokoena getting ready to shoot.

“The deceased was clearly a victim of a planned robbery. Why it was necessary to shoot him remains a mystery.

“It was senseless. The question arises if the motive was barbaric bloodlust. No-one will ever know.

“There was clearly no reason to shoot the deceased. His family had already been robbed by then,” Bam said.

Engelbrecht's widow Marinda testified that she and her family had moved out of the house in Booysens immediately and moved into a house in a security complex, where she had spent R52 000 on extra security measures.

Marinda and her daughter Megan had walked into an armed robbery barely five months after her husband's murder, resulting in both suffering from post-traumatic stress, and being hospitalised at one stage.

Megan, who is writing her matric exam and could not attend the sentencing proceedings, could not complete her exams for two years due to the trauma. - Sapa