The mother of Sabata Petros Chale says they will now found closure after the killers of his son were sentenced to 20 years imprisonment at the North West High Court in Mogwase. Picture: Molaole Montsho

Mogwase - The family of slain African National Congress (ANC) member, Sabata Petros Chale, in Marikana outside Rustenburg will find closure after his killers were sentenced to 20 year imprisonment on Tuesday, his mother said.

Joyce Chale who had been attending the trial said she has found closure as she heard how her son was killed and after his killers were sentence to 20 years in prison.

"I am happy to know them because all the time I did not know them while my son was brutally killed. They killed him claiming they do not know him but knew him when they killed him. I am happy," she said.

During the trial she sat with her hands folded, occasionally closing her eyes when the gruesome details of how her son was killed were revealed in court.

North West High Court judge Ronnie Hendricks sentenced 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, twenty years each in prison for killing Chale, 39, at Marikana West on December 8, 2016.

Chale was stabbed and hacked to death with pangas and spears after he was chased by a group of about 200 men. He was killed over the allocation of low cost (RDP) houses in Marikana.

He was the local leader of the SA National Civic Organisation (Sanco).

Delivering judgment, Hendricks said all eight men attended a meeting at the Marikana police station on December 8, 2016, but it was surprising that they did not see each other although all of them chose to stand at the back of the crowd at the police station.

"Ironically they all left and go home after the meeting, none of them knew the deceased [Chale] as testify by Mr [Mpumelelo] Xakumbisa and Ms [Josephine] Tayitayi. Some admitted they knew Xakumbisa and others denied knowing him," the judge said.

Mpumelelo Xakumbisa was one of the leaders at Marikana Phase Two also known as Khabangena, he was present at the meeting held at one Mdu's house prior to the meeting at the police, he was an accomplice in the case and turned a State witness, he was never arrested or charged for the murder.

Hendricks said the State had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt, and rejected claims by the men that they did not participate in killing Chale, stating that they all played a leading role in killing Chale.

"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," Hendricks said.

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

Their wives and family members cried when the sentence was handed down. They kissed and stroked their hands, as the men were led to the holding cells to start their sentences.

African News Agency (ANA)