GEORGE NEWS - Three robbers who murdered Somalian shop owner Llyaasi Mohamed (35) at his shop in Thembalethu two years ago, received the maximum sentences in the Western Cape High Court on Friday.
Jugde Vincent Saldanha handed down a 25 year sentence each to Sipho Ndede and Mashthandaze Xantelo and a 30 year sentence to Zukisani Mnyamana. The trial started in the Circuit High Court in George in February last year before it was moved to Cape Town. Mr MP Heyns appeared for the state.
Ndede, Xantelo and Mnyamana, all from Cape Town, faced 22 charges, which included various robberies in Cape Town and Paarl, murder, theft, kidnapping and attempted murder, to name but a few.
On 26 February 2012 they robbed Mohamed's store in Zone 6 in Thembalethu. They cut open the shop's safety gate and shot Mohamed in the chest. He died on the scene. His friend, Mr Egge, was wounded in the leg.
Minutes after this robbery they followed the same modus operandi at another shop owned by a Somalian. The safety gate was also cut and the owner and his friend shot in the arm and leg respectively. Cash and airtime were stolen during both robberies.
The suspects were arrested shortly thereafter by the Thembalethu Police at a house in the neighbourhood and confiscated two unlicensed firearms and ammunition, cash, airtime and the Ford Bantam bakkie they stole in Atlantis earlier that month.
Somalian leaders also testified about the vicious attacks on their people across the province, which have left many dead or paralysed.
Shocking statistics regarding aggravated robberies at shops owned by foreigners in Thembalethu were also given during the trial. In 2011 some 18 shops owned by foreigners were robbed by armed men, in 2012 this number increased to 25 and in 2013 it went up to 48. During January and February this year eight foreigner owned shops had already been robbed.
Judge Saldanha praised the police for their rapid action to secure all the crime scenes in this case and the way the forensic evidence, which linked the suspects to the various crimes, was collected and presented to the court. He also highlighted the fact that good cooperation between the Somalian leaders and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) contributed to this successful trial and sentence.
ARTICLE: LIZETTE DA SILVA, GEORGE HERALD JOURNALIST
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