Pietermaritzburg -

Three KwaZulu-Natal men were jailed for life on Tuesday for killing a man and wounding his grandson.

Mlandeleni Ngubo, 21, Mthofi Ngubo, 25, and Mkhawuleni Mchunu, 28, were convicted by the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Monday of the murder of Thabani Nhlangothi and the attempted murder of his grandson in September 2010.

The three were also found guilty of trying to kill Nhlangothi's wife, and their granddaughter.

In addition to the life sentence, the court added 10 years for the three attempted murders and 15 years for possession of illegal firearms.

The court found the three first reconnoitred the Nhlangothi home before the shooting.

The gang took a taxi there at midnight, telling the driver they would kill Nhlangothi. Mchunu stood guard while the Ngubos knocked on the door.

When they were refused entry, they shot through the door and kicked it in. They barged in with torches and fired at the grandfather and child. The wife and her granddaughter escaped harm.

Judge Kobus Booyens found that the aggravating factors overwhelmed any mitigating evidence. The men never explained why they attacked the family.

Defence counsel Ishi Khan argued his clients were first offenders and could be rehabilitated.- Sapa