Daniel Kabelo Motshwaratau leaves the Bronkhorspruit Magistrates Court after being sentenced to 74 years for attempted murder and robbery aggravated. Picture: Sarah Makoe

What three Bronkhorstspruit women went through resembled a “thriller movie”, a prosecutor said yesterday before their two attackers were sentenced to 74 years and 59 years in jail.

State prosecutor Elize Schoeman also told the Bronkhorstspruit Regional Court that Daniel Motshwarateu, 23, and Helton Matsimela, 28, did not show any remorse for the seven-hour ordeal they put the victims through on February 18 last year.

The court heard that Motshwarateu worked as a gardener for Annatjie Myburgh and her husband. On that fateful day the two attacked Annatjie, 56, and her domestic worker, Paulina Moiana, 28, in the Myburgh home.

Annatjie was burned with a hot iron and both women beaten and tortured. Annatjie’s daughter-in-law, Edri Myburgh, 27, arrived, walking in on the attack.

After robbing the women, the attackers drove them out on a deserted road with the family vehicle and shot the two Myburghs in the head. They drove further with Moiana, who was critically injured when they lost control of the car and crashed it.

Edri regained consciousness and walked more than 10km to get help. Annatjie was rescued when a motorist saw her.

It emerged Motshwarateu had previously broken into the Myburgh home, stealing firearms and ammunition. The men also tried to withdraw money with the women’s ATM cards.

They faced charges, including robbery with aggravating circumstances, attempted murder, attempted theft, assault and kidnapping. Motshwarateu was also charged with escaping from lawful custody after he fled from court.

Schoeman said during argument that Motshwarateu had a previous conviction of contravening the Firearms and Ammunition Act in 2004. He was sentenced to three years imprisonment for that. Matsimela was a first time offender.

During sentencing Magistrate Magriet Cook took into account that the men pleaded guilty to several charges.

It appeared Motshwarateu, who had worked for the Myburghs, had initiated the whole attack, she said.

Motshwarateu claimed the attack happened because he was not paid, but Cook said Matsimela contradicted this by saying Motshwarateu had told him there was money in the house and they should rob it.

Because he worked for them, Motshwarateu said the family would open the door for him.

“It seems these crimes were well-planned. One accused broke into the house before to steal weapons. This was a gruesome crime. You burnt the older lady with a clothing iron, left her just like that and put her in the vehicle with the domestic worker. When Edri arrived, she was also kidnapped.

“Without batting an eyelid, Matsimela points a firearm at the two women, pulling the trigger while Motshwarateu watched with a grin,” Cook said.

Motshwarateu was sentenced to an effective 74 years behind bars, while Matsimela will serve an effective 59 years in jail. - Pretoria News