The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Manamela has welcomed a hefty sentence handed down to three accused, Thulani Skhakhane, 38, Banele Khanyile, 30, and Mxolisi Duma, 32, for various crimes committed in 2017.
They were was all sentenced to 43 years imprisonment each on Thursday, 21 April 2022, by the Amersfoort Regional Court.
The court heard how on 17 August 2017, the three and a fourth suspect who is still at large followed a man at Durban Central who was going surfing and stole his car keys, iPhone, and his watch valued at R50 000. They then drove off in his vehicle, a Honda Jazz and crossed to Mpumalanga Province.
Then on 23 September 2017, the four broke into a house in Witbank and stole a laptop, television set as well as jewellery. They then proceeded to Ermelo where they also broke into a house, stole a television set, camera and a jewellery box.
The four then drove to a farm in Amersfoort on the same day.
They found the farm owner’s 87-year-old father, tied him with a rope and assaulted him then took the firearm safe which had about 9 firearms inside as well as jewellery and other valuable items.
As they were making their way out, a vigilant farmer spotted the vehicle speeding and became suspicious.
She then drove after them and alerted other farmers as well as police for assistance. When the four noticed they were being chased, the driver lost control. The three were arrested thereafter and one managed to flee.
The court found all three guilty on all counts, including housebreaking with the intention to rob and robbery with aggravating circumstances (farm attack at Amersfoort), possession of obliterated firearm at Amersfoort, possession of ammunition without a license (at Amersfoort), theft of motor vehicle (at Durban Central), theft (at Witbank), and theft (at Ermelo).
Police urge anyone with information that may lead to the arrest of the remaining suspect, to contact Constable Cliff Ndaba on 0798915846 or call the Crime Stop number at 08600 10111.
Alternatively members of the public can send information via MySAPS App. All received information will be treated as confidential and callers may opt to remain anonymous.
The Provincial Commissioner has since applauded the team of detectives for their hard work and thorough investigation that led to this notable sentence.
Read about more farm attacks here