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2020/10/15      |  Written By:  Brigadier M Mojapelo   |   Province:  Limpopo

POLOKWANE - The Provincial Commissioner of Police in Limpopo Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba has welcomed the hefty sentences that were handed down by the Limpopo Division of the High Court in Polokwane yesterday, 12 October 2020 against two of the four accused who were convicted of farm murder and related crimes.

Trial court found that the accused Phuti Phineas Molongoane aged 39 and Thapelo Nickel Motsamai aged 25 together with their two accomplices had in the early hours of 06 February 2017 attacked and severely assaulted Mr Hendrick Peter Pieterse  then aged 57 on his Sumadi farm at Afuguns outside Lephalale. The victim was assaulted with various objects leaving him severely injured. The suspects then fled the scene in his white Isuzu bakkie. Two rifles, cellphones and other valuables were also taken during the attack. The fifth suspect who drove them to the farm was waiting inside the vehicle during the robbery.

The victim was discovered later and rushed to hospital where he was certified dead on arrival.

Police manhunt immediately ensued and four suspects were arrested shortly. The fifth suspect, Phillip Modime remained on the run.

During subsequent court appearances, three of the four accused were granted bail. Molangoane remained in custody. The fourth accused was later turned into state witness (the driver of the vehicle).

Justice Rasodi (38) failed to appear in court after he was  released on bail and was being sought by the Police. He then committed a house robbery in Seshego and a series of other crimes whilst on bail. He was finally cornered in Modimolle when he was found with the outstanding suspect, Phillip Modime(36) and arrested. Rasodi was fatally shot during the arrest when a shootout ensued between them and the police.

The trial of the remaining accused, Modime, is expected to start on 15 October 2020. He will also face a series of charges ranging from murder, possession of suspected motor vehicle, house robbery, theft to burglaries committed in Villa Nora, Modimolle, Seshego and Lephalale while he was out on bail.

The sentences were handed down as follows:

*Accused number 01: Phuti Phineas Molangoane was sentenced to life imprisonment for Murder and fifteen years each for Housebreaking with the intent to commit robbery and robbery with aggravating circumstances. He was further sentenced to 05 years imprisonment for possession of unlicensed firearm. The 05 years sentences will run concurrently.

*Accused number 02: Thapelo Nickel Motsamai was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment each for Housebreaking with intend to commit robbery and Robbery with aggravating circumstances. Both sentences will run concurrently.

The cases were investigated by Detective Warrant Officer Renier Nicolaas Oosthuizen of Lephalale SAPS.

General Ledwaba applauded the meticulous work of the investigation team. He further stressed that the South African Police Service in this province prioritise the safety and security of the farming community.

One of the accused
One of the accused