Six men who attacked a family on their Gluckstadt farm, near Vryheid, in 2016 were handed life sentences by a KwaZulu-Natal court last week, police have said.
Two people were killed during the attack.
According to one of KwaZulu-Natal’s police spokespersons, lieutenant colonel Thulani Zwane, the men were sentenced on Friday in the Vryheid Magistrate’s Court.
“Msizeni Joseph Shezi, 35, was sentenced to two terms of life imprisonment on two counts of murder, plus a total of 41 years for attempted murder, robbery, kidnapping, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition,” said Zwane.
He said Lindokuhle Zulu, 35, was sentenced to two terms of life imprisonment on two counts of murder and a total of 46 years’ imprisonment for attempted murder, robbery, kidnapping, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm as well as possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition.
Gcinimali Dladla, 40, Themba Mhlanga, 28, Mondli Nkosi and Mngcineni Gazu, 29, were each sentenced to two terms of life imprisonment on two counts of murder and a total of 33 years each for attempted murder, robbery, kidnapping and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, said Zwane.
The seventh accused pleaded guilty to the charges in the Madedeni Magistrate’s Court in 2017 and is currently serving his sentence.
The attack took place on April 19, 2016, at about 8.30pm when the group attacked the family at their Swart Umfolozi farm in Gluckstadt.
The attackers opened fire, killing 37-year-old Billy van Rooyen instantly. Billy’s father, Lodewyk, 76, was wounded during the attack. Karlien van Rooyen, mother to Billy and wife of Lodewyk, was not injured.
Ronnie Lombard (62) was wounded during the shooting and was rushed to hospital where he later died of his injuries.
The accused stole an undisclosed amount of cash before they fled the scene. Charges of murder, attempted murder, assault, robbery and kidnapping were opened at Gluckstadt Police Station.
“The docket was taken over by the Durban Organised Crime Unit for further investigation. Following sterling work by the team, police officers arrested the accused and recovered three rifles used during the attack,” said Zwane.
By African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Desiree Erasmus.