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Mogwase - Eight Marikana men found guilty of killing Sabata Petros Chale were each sentenced to 20 years imprisonment on Tuesday, by the North West High Court.

"Murder is a serious offence, the deceased have lost his life. The court should consider the manner in which he lost his life...Hopefully when you come out of prison you will be rehabilitated and contribute to your family and society," Judge Ronnie Hendricks said delivering sentence.

"The deceased was a father of two children, the youngest celebrated her birthday before her father was killed."

Aubrey Seitsang, 39, Sibonile Sobopha, 32, Herbert Baqhesi, 36, William Nyenyane, 33, Samson Gqwetani, 42, Gift Luveli 39, Luvo Soyizwaphi, 32, and Mzolisi Mbulana, 48,  were sentenced for killing Chale, 39, at Marikana West on December 8, 2016.

Chale was killed by the group over the allocation of low cost (RDP) houses in Marikana.

Mitigating for sentence, Eric Marx, for the accused, appealed for the court not to imposed the life sentence.

"Marikana is a volatile area since the massacre in 2012, there is a political conflict between the [Economic Freedom Fighters] EFF and the [African National Congress] ANC, the testimony of Mr [Mpumelelo] Xakumbisa that accused four [Herbert Baqhesi] starring at a woman wearing an ANC T-shirt, indicate the rivalry between the ANC and EFF, fuelled by housing problems," Marx said.

Advocate Cain Nontenjwa said the court should imposed the prescribed life sentence and should it consider the political situation in Marikana as a compelling circumstance -- a lengthy sentence should be imposed.

He said Chale left two children aged 10 and two.

African News Agency (ANA)