The Limpopo High Court sentenced three men to life imprisonment for the 2020 murder of Alwyn Petrus van Zyl on the Bad Se Loop farm in Waterberg.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Mashudu Dzhangi said van Zyl and his wife were asleep when the accused attacked them on 20 March 2020.
“The deceased was tied with a rope and several items were taken, amongst others, a dark blue cooler bag marked R Van Zyl, a red high output air pump, a silver Tasco binocular, a black and yellow bag containing ventilated touring tent.
“The deceased was killed according to the post-mortem report, and the cause of death is external neck compression,” said Dzhangi.
All the accused, who are from Zimbabwe, were arrested on the same day of the attack and later charged with murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, housebreaking with intent to rob, unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition and common assault.
The State alleged that Ugenius Saga, 31, Lloyd Mandumbu, 30 and Tatenda Ngwenya, 33 premeditated the murder and that the trio acted to further a common purpose.
The accused denied their involvement during the trial and denied being in possession of a bag that bore the deceased’s name.
The court agreed with the State’s submissions and found that there were no substantial and compelling circumstances to mitigate the sentence for the accused, according to the NPA.
The accused were sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of van Zyl along with 15 years for each for aggravated robbery, five years for housebreaking and one year for assault.
Tatenda Ngwenya was singled out with a 15-year term for unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition.