Port Elizabeth - The two men convicted for the murder of 12-year-old Aliya "Angel" Tee were each sentenced to an effective 30 years behind bars in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Thursday.
Nealon Redhouse, 18, and Deon Harmse, 24, were earlier found guilty of the schoolgirl's murder and the attempted murder of her parents Candice and Edmund Tee.
They were also convicted on charges relating to them posing as police members and housebreaking with intent to commit murder.
Redhouse is currently serving an 18-year sentence for another murder.
Judge Mandela Makaula said that Redhouse would first serve his lesser sentence of 18 years and thereafter start serving his 30 year jail term for Angel’s murder.
Redhouse displayed arrogance throughout the trial and smiled while Makaula passed down sentence.
Earlier during arguments in aggravation and mitigation of sentence, Redhouse smiled and laughed when video of Angel dancing was played in court.
The Grade 7 pupil and prefect at Strelitzia Primary School in Port Elizabeth's Northern Areas was killed in June 2016 when gunmen, posing as police officers, forced open the back door of their Barberry Street home in Bethelsdorp.
Her father was shot and incapacitated while trying to fend off the attackers. He is paralysed and has to make use of a wheelchair.
After the men shot Edmund, they proceeded to look for other family members in the home.
Tee and her mother ran to the bathroom when they were discovered by the gunmen.
After pleading with the men not to shoot, the schoolgirl was shot execution style in the head. Her mother survived the tragic incident and passed out during the shooting.
She later regained consciousness to discover her daughter’s lifeless body covered in blood.
After the incident the Tee family were placed in the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA)'s witness protection programme.
Testifying in aggravation of sentence, Candice took to the stand and requested a video be played of Angel dancing at a birthday party just a few months before her murder.
There was not a dry eye in the courtroom and family members wept as they watched the little girl perform a dance routine.
Candice thanked her family and the investigating team for the ongoing support she had received.
“Maybe today is the day of justice for my child. But first I want to thank the Lord who carried us through until today and I believe he will carry us later,” she said.
Angel’s brother Zano Tee who matriculated last year, took to the stand for the first time and described his sister as a joyous person.
He said that Angel was not only a sister but also a friend to him and that he could not take away the pain his parents had suffered in losing her.
“The positive impact is that I believe in God and I believe she is in a safer place, better than this cruel world.
“Ever since that night my parents have suffered a loss. I could see they were in pain but I couldn’t fulfill that pain. To try and fulfill it would be impossible,” he said.
African News Agency (ANA)