File photo: African News Agency (ANA)
A 20-year-old man has been sentenced to 22 years’ imprisonment for the murder of a family of three in De Aar.

Dumisani Magagula was sentenced in the Northern Cape High Court, sitting in De Aar, after being found guilty of the triple murder of the Makaleni family - Glenwill Sam Makaleni, 40, his wife, Gladys Hanna Makaleni, 38, and their 10-year-old son, Gladwill Winston Makaleni.

The bodies of the three family members were discovered by Glenwill’s brother, Selvyn, in the early hours of Saturday, November 5 2016, after they had been brutally stabbed to death in their home in Caroluspoort Street, Montana, De Aar.

The slain couple’s daughter, Gwendoline, who was 16 years old at the time of the incident, survived because she was sleeping at her grandmother’s house on the night of the incident.

Selvyn told the DFA that he had walked with Gwendoline to the Makaleni’s home after his brother failed to answer his phone.

“I jumped over the wall, as no one was answering. As I walked closer to the house, I noticed that one of the windows was open and I saw blood on it. My niece also noticed the blood and I sent her to call my father,” Selvyn said at the time.

“I walked closer and saw my brother lying motionless inside the house. He was lying on his stomach in the dining room. After the police arrived, I saw my sister-in-law and my nephew in the hallway. Their feet were in the bedroom and their bodies in the hallway.”

Selvyn added that he was ushered out of the house by the police, after which his father and niece arrived on the scene, but they were spared the sight of the bodies.

Magagula was arrested in connection with the murders on November 6 2016 at his residence in Sunrise, De Aar.

During his first court appearance, Magagula, who was 18 years old at the time, had to be forcibly removed from the dock by police officials after he questioned why his alleged accomplices had not been arrested. The teenager said that he didn’t “want to go down alone”.

Both Glenwill and Gladys were employees of the provincial Department of Education.

Magagula was sentenced to an effective 22 years behind bars after being found guilty of housebreaking and three counts of murder.

Judge Sharon Erasmus sentenced Magagula to six months’ imprisonment for housebreaking and 22 years’ imprisonment for each of the three murders. The sentences will run concurrently.

Northern Cape police management commended the investigating officer, Captain Kobus Nel, the State prosecutor, Advocate Adele van Heerden, and Judge Erasmus for “working in the interest of the community by ensuring that the triple murderer was removed from society”.

DFA