Mpumalanga High Court has sentenced two brothers to 37 years in prison each for the 2017 murder of British citizen Susan Deborah Howarth in Dullstroom.
Meshack Nkosinathi Yika, 28, and Themba William Yika, 38, was originally charged with Lucas Makau, who has since died.
“On 18 February 2017, the three broke into the Marchlands farmhouse in Dullstroom, in the Borough of Belfast, and found the couple asleep.< /p>
“They attacked her with a blowtorch and shot Susan in the head, who later succumbed to her injuries,” said National Attorney General Monica Nyuswa.
She told the three men then shot her husband once in the neck and dragged him into the lounge where they demanded money from him.
“They continued to attack the complainant until he opened the safe and took R320, two mobile phones and a camera.
“They also burned him more than with a blowtorch on his body. He gave them his bank card and PIN number in the hope they would leave him behind.
“Instead, they covered his face with a plastic bag and forced both the deceased and the surviving victim into their van and drove away. Then they threw her on the street. The matter was reported to the police and the investigation led to her arrest,” Nyuswa said.
During the trial, Prosecutor Adv. Eric Sihlangu presented evidence from Howarth’s husband, who told the court what happened on the day witnessed the ordeal.
To reinforce the sentence, Sihlangu submitted three victim impact statements, one of which was compiled by the surviving victim. It detailed how the loss of a loved one had affected him and said he was traumatized by the experience.
Judge Lineo Liphoto found the defendant guilty as charged.
She sentenced them to 15 years, five years each for burglary and robbery, five years each for town firearms use, 20 years each for murder, 12 years each for attempted murder, five years each for theft, and an additional five years each Charge of kidnapping.
The court ordered some of the sentences to be imposed simultaneously, meaning they will serve 37 years each.
Nkebe Kanyane, Chief Prosecutor of Mpumalanga , welcomed the conviction and verdict.
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