Polokwane court sentences five men to over 20 years for crime spree

Published Jun 21, 2024


By Ronewa Jessica Mashamba

Five men who went on a crime spree of horror between April and May 2020, have been given hefty sentences in the Polokwane Division of the High Court on June 19, 2024.

Matandana Nickson, Trymore Maparadza, Tonherel Mujeki, Obey Mutema, and Philmon Sithole, all foreign nationals, have been convicted and sentenced for murder, robbery, and housebreaking.

The group, made up of one Mozambican and four Zimbabwean nationals, committed their crimes from April 14, 2020.

They started at the Kgautswana clinic in Leboeng, where they robbed security guards and stole their guns. They then broke into the nurse's residence, stealing valuables and money.

They did not stop there. They also broke into the clinic, stealing laptops and computers, and escaped in a red Nissan Hardbody bakkie.

They then robbed a shop in Makgwareng village, where they shot and killed a Pakistani shopkeeper and injured his assistant.

A joint police operation led to their capture on May 6, 2020, in different locations including Burgersfort and Riba Cross, Driekop, and Mashamothane village.

The police recovered stolen items and the red bakkie, which was being repainted to hide its identity.

Sergeant Tumelo Shai of the Leboeng SAPS Detectives unit led the investigation, ensuring the men stayed in custody until their trial.

They were each sentenced to 15 years for robbery and 10 years for housebreaking, to run concurrently. They also got jail terms of 15 years each for another count of robbery to run separately.

The men received further terms of 15 years in jail for murder and 10 years for attempted murder to run concurrently.

Each of the convicted felons will serve more than 20 years in prison and have been deemed unfit to possess firearms.

The Provincial Commissioner of Limpopo, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe, said he was satisfied with the verdict and the sentences handed down by the Polokwane High Court.

The Commissioner lauded the court's decision as a significant step towards removing individuals who pose a threat to society from the province, adding that the five men “did not deserve a place within the community“.


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