File picture: Motshwari Mofokeng

Rustenburg - Three men have been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of a taxi operator, North West police said on Thursday.

Colonel Sabata Mokgwabone said China Moloi, 39, Nkululo Vava, 29, and Dalikhaya Nompojwane, 30, were sentenced by the North West High Court, sitting in Mogwase near Rustenburg on Tuesday.

“The accused were found guilty of the planned murder, instigated by China Moloi who had sold his Corsa bakkie to raise funds in order to pay his friends R20 000 for killing the man,” said Col Mokgwabone.

He said the three killed Sello Peter Mogale ,62, at his home in Phokeng outside Rustenburg in January 2014.

“They all went to the victim’s house where on arrival, they cut the fence to gain entrance and hid themselves in the yard and waited for the victim to return home. It was upon the arrival of the victim the trio, who were all armed with firearms, shot him several times as he got out of the vehicle inside the garage.”

He said police investigation revealed that the murder was motivated by taxi squabbles, after Moloi had bought a minibus taxi which he forcefully tried to operate within the routes of Phokeng without the approval of the local association, of which Mogale was a member.

The three were arrested at the Rustenburg taxi rank, Freedom Park informal settlement and Sefikile village near Swartklip.

“We are delighted that we managed to secure a maximum sentence and hope that this is an indication that crime does not pay”, said provincial commissioner Lieutenant General Zukiswa Mbombo.

African News Agency