Residents in Gqeberha can breathe a sigh of relief as a gang kingpin and his partners were handed multiple life sentences for murder by the Gqeberha High Court.
The murders date back to September 2015 when Glynn Carelson, Jermaine Mitchell, Morne Nel, Wendell Petersen, Graham Kammies and Robin Taylor committed a spate of murders all on the same day.
The accused were all part of the Dustlife gang.
The fateful day of 14 September 2015 claimed three lives. Theodore Matthews was their first victim at midday. He was fatally wounded while seated in a taxi in Korsten. In the afternoon the gang pounced on Rajen Naidoo, who was gunned down at his work place in Newton Park. At about 6 pm, Jermaine Essau was shot and killed while standing in his yard in Springbok Street in Gelvandale.
Police were able to link the gang members to the murders after a year of investigations. The suspects were arrested between the 26 and 27 September 2016 while Kammies and Taylor were already behind bars on other charges.
They were face with 3 murder charges, conspiracy to commit murder, Prevention of Organised Crime Act (racketeering and gangsterism), illegal possession of a firearm as well as illegal possession of ammunition.
They were denied bail and remained in custody for the remainder of the trial.
Mitchell was handed a five year sentence on four charges which will run concurrently. 15 years each for the possession of an illegal firearm and ammunition which will also run concurrently.
While the rest of the gang members were also handed five year sentences on four separate charges. They were also handed 15years each for illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition. In addition, they recieved three life sentences for murder.
Provincial police commissioner Nomtetheleli Mene commended the police on ensuring a water tight case.
“The relentless efforts and meticulous investigation by the investigating team ensured a water-tight case against these gang members. Such diligence and professionalism deserve recognition and appreciation. Bringing dangerous criminals to justice and ensuring they receive the appropriate sentences is essential for maintaining public safety and deterring further criminal activity,’ says Mene.