Pretoria - The man who attempted to extort money from disgraced Paralympian Oscar Pistorius to make his murder conviction disappear was on Monday sentenced to an effective four years in jail.
Tshifhiwa Radzhadzhi, 30, appeared in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Pretoria. He had been in custody since March following his arrest.
Radzhadzhi was sentenced to eight years, four of which were suspended, for impersonating a National Prosecuting Authority official. He was further sentenced to four years under correctional supervision for fraud.
During sentencing, magistrate Martin van Wyk said Radzhadzhi was foolish to choose a high-profile case that had attracted international media attention.
He said the man should have known that he would be facing dire consequences for his actions.
The sentence should serve to deter other like-minded criminals in future. “This cannot be tolerated,” the magistrate said.
“You will not be the first nor the last to attempt to commit this sort of crime. It is the court’s duty to ensure that you’re sentenced accordingly - without being excessive, but also ensuring the right sentence is passed,” Van Wyk said.
Radzhadzhi contacted Pistorius and a trap was set up for him, during which he was handed R40 000 and arrested next to the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, on March 18.
Pistorius was sentenced to six years for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
He shot and killed her in his Pretoria home on Valentine’s Day, claiming he mistook her for an intruder hiding in his toilet.
He previously served one-sixth of his five-year sentence for culpable homicide in prison.