Friends sentenced for 2019 murder of elderly Jeffrey’s Bay businessman
DURBAN - TWO men, who robbed and murdered 79-year-old Johnie William Marx in November two years ago, have been sentenced.
The two, Lunga Welcome and Masixole Mbeke were sentenced to life imprisonment in the Port Elizabeth High Court.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson, Anelisa Ngcakani, said Welkom and Mbeki were arrested on 14 November 2019 by the Hawks.
Marx ran a garden service from his residence in Jeffrey’s Bay.
During the afternoon of 11 November 2019, Welkom and Mbeki visited Marx’s house purporting to look for employment. Marx told them there were no vacancies.
Ngcakani said the two decided to return the following day at about 7am with the intention to break and enter Marx's house.
"Welkom and Mbeki agreed that they would rob Marx if he was at home. Marx was alone as his wife, Yvonne, stayed with their daughter, Advocate Zelda Swanepoel. The daughter was looking after her mother who was recovering from an operation," she said.
Armed with pepper spray, Welkom and Mbeki went to Marx's home and he opened the garage door from the inside.
The two asked him for a job again, Mbeki drew the pepper spray and sprayed Marx in his face.
Welkom and Mbeki then forced him inside the garage and closed the door.
They assaulted him with blunt objects and tied him up in a chair. Marx was then forced to disclose the pin number of his two ABSA bank cards which were in his wallet. They then ransacked his house and stole a number of items which included a cellphone and jewellery.
Ngcakani said the two took clothing items in the house, shoved them in Marx’s mouth and gagged him.
They then took a plastic packet, placed it over his head and sealed it with tape and left him. Marx couldn't breath.
"Welkom and Mbeki then made cash withdrawals and payments with the two ABSA cards to the value of just over R22 000," she said.
During the evening of 12 November 2019, Marx's relatives went looking for him after he failed to answer phone calls. They made the grisly discovery of his body that same evening, he had suffocated to death.
"It was through the guidance of the prosecution from the date of arrest and the preparation of a strong case that the accused had no other option but to plead guilty. Prosecutors serve the community on a daily basis and assist in bringing closure to the lives of many victims . This matter was however particularly close to home as it was the father of our very own, Advocate Swanepoel, that was murdered in a cold callous and brutal manner. It is hoped the family will receive a sense of closure and a renewed strength to continue the fight against crime,” said Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Advocate Indra Goberdan
Welkom and Mbeki were further sentenced to five years for house breaking with intent to rob, 15 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances, three years for kidnapping, five years for fraud and to one year for money laundering.