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Pietermaritzburg - An 18-year jail term handed down to a father of nine who violently robbed a Weenen tourist lodge owner and her assistant was upheld by the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Tuesday.

Themba Mkhize, 29, of Weenen, was convicted and sentenced in the Estcourt Regional Court in December 2011. Pietermaritzburg judges rejected his appeal.

Lodge owner Patricia Rottcher and her assistant Emily Makhathini were assaulted while Mkhize and a companion stole R1600 and then demanded more money and guns.

They demanded that Rottcher open a safe. She did not have a key and was beaten. Her teeth broken and eardrum burst she escaped and ran barefoot through veld to seek help.