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DOUBLE LIFE SENTENCES FOR DA WARD COUNCILLOR'S MURDERERS: NORTHERN CAPE
2020/08/24      |  Written By:  Captain L Ramovha   |   Province:  Northern Cape

PRETORIA – Five men who stood trial in the Northern Cape High Court for the murder of Democratic Alliance (DA) councillor Johannes Baatjies (49) and his business partner in 2016 have been found guilty and sentenced on Friday for double murder.

Baaitjies, a former Danielskuil ward councillor in the Kgatelopele municipality, was found dead on the main road between Danielskuil and Postmasburg in August 2016.  He had been shot twice in the head and once in the torso.  At the time of his death, he was with his friend Jeffrey Nose (31), who was also shot in the face and unfortunately passed on after seven days of the fateful incident. The deceased had been lured to a non-existent business meeting which he took his business associate with. 

The Hawks Serious Organised Crime Investigation team was roped in to investigate the matter, which resulted in the arrest of Richard Magawu (32), within 48 hours following the tragic incident. Further investigations led to the arrest of others including,  Charles Mpondomisa (42), Matthews Legodi (52) Richard Hasan (36), and Frank Baxane (34), in 2016 September and October respectively.  

The High Court has convicted the group for both murders, except for Magawu who was sentenced to 36 years imprisonment, the other four received double life sentences. Baxane and Mpondomisa received an additional four years imprisonment each for possession of firearm and ammunition. The Provincial Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), Major General Kholekile Galawe, has commended the team for the splendid work done and warned that those who continue to commit crime will be brought to book without fail.

The National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya is satisfied that justice was secured by the Serious Organised Crime Investigation team which has secured 11 life sentences on seven convicts in just two days, the first of which was yesterday by the Pietermaritzburg High Court where three convicted police killers received a combined sentence of 143 years imprisonment.