The High Court of South Africa: Limpopo Division, Polokwane sentenced  Three Zimbabwean nationals to Life imprisonment for farm murder. Ugenius Saga (31), Lloyd Mandumbu (30) and Tatenda Ngwenya (33) were also sentenced for robbery with aggravating circumstances, housebreaking with intent to rob, unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition and common assault.

The three accused committed the offences on 20 March 2020, at Bad Se Loop farm in Waterberg, and were arrested on the same day. The deceased Alwyn Petrus Van Zyl, was sleeping with his wife when the accused arrived and attacked them.

SENTENCED FOR FARM MURDER 

The deceased was tied with a rope and several items were taken, amongst others, a dark blue cooler bag marked R Van Zyl, and a red high-output air pump. A silver Tasco binocular, a black and yellow bag containing a ventilated touring tent.

The deceased was killed according to the post-mortem report, and the cause of death is external neck compression. The state alleged that the murder was planed. The three accused acted in the furtherance of a common purpose when committing the offences.

During the trial, the accused persons raised an alibi and maintained that they are not responsible for the offence. They denied being in possession of a blue bag, with the deceased’s name.

MORE EVIDENCE PROVIDED BY THE STATE 

The state also submitted that the evidence provided by the police linked the accused. They further submitted that the court must consider the evidence provided in aggravation of sentence. The state Adv. Nkhetheni Munyai indicated to the court the gravity of the offences. The impact, stating that there is a legitimate public outcry about farm murders.

This will have consequences on the food supply, as farmers who are constantly under attack will end up abandoning their farming activities. The result will be hunger in the country.

The court agreed with the submissions of the state and found that there were no substantial and compelling circumstances. Imposed life imprisonment for murder, 15 years for each accused on a charge of robbery with aggravating circumstance. Five years for each accused on charge of housebreaking with intent to rob, one year for each accused on charge of assault. 15 years for Tatenda Ngwenya on a charge of possession of a firearm and also possession of ammunition.

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