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Five male foreign nationals convicted and sentenced for murder, robbery and other offences

Media Statement
South African Police Service
Office of the Provincial Commissioner Limpopo

POLOKWANE - In a significant judgment on Wednesday, June 19, 2024, the Polokwane Division of the High Court handed down multiple convictions and sentences to five foreign male perpetrators aged between 22 and 38. The charges against them included murder, robbery, attempted murder, and housebreaking with intent to rob.

The convicted individuals, comprising of one Mozambican and four Zimbabwean nationals, orchestrated a series of violent crimes on 14 April, 2020, that shook the community. Their criminal spree began at Kgautswana clinic in the Leboeng policing area, where they violently robbed security guards of their firearms before proceeding to ransack the nurse's residence, stealing valuables and an undisclosed sum of money.

Subsequently, the perpetrators brazenly broke into the clinic, making off with laptops and computers before fleeing the scene in a red Nissan Hardbody bakkie. Continuing their rampage, they targeted a foreign national shop in Makgwareng village, where they callously shot the Pakistani shopkeeper and his assistant during a robbery. Tragically, the shopkeeper lost his life, while his assistant survived the ordeal and received medical treatment at a local hospital.

In response to the heinous crimes, a joint operation involving the Leboeng Crime Prevention team and the Detectives Unit was launched to apprehend the suspects. After an extensive manhunt, the perpetrators were captured at various locations in Burgersfort, Riba Cross, Driekop, and Mashamothane villages on 06 May 2020. The police recovered two unlicensed firearms and the stolen items from the clinic and the Pakistani shop in the possession of the culprits.

Furthermore, the red Nissan Hardbody bakkie used in the criminal activities was located at a scrapyard in Burgersfort, where it was in the process of being repainted to disguise its identity. 

The investigation into the harrowing crimes committed by the five foreign nationals was diligently handled by Sergeant Tumelo Shai from the Leboeng SAPS Detectives unit. Sergeant Shai's unwavering commitment and exemplary detective work ensured that the suspects remained in police custody until their sentencing by the Polokwane Division of the High Court on Wednesday, 19 June 2024.

The accused individuals, identified as Matandana Nickson (32), Trymore Maparadza (31), Tonherel Mujeki (38), Obey Mutema (35), and the 22-year-old Mozambican Philmon Sithole, faced a series of charges and were subsequently convicted and sentenced as follows:

  • Count 1: Robbery - 15 years’ imprisonment.
  • Count 2: Housebreaking with intent to rob - 10 years’ imprisonment.
  • Count 3: Robbery - 15 years’ imprisonment.
  • Count 4: Murder - 15 years’ imprisonment.
  • Count 5: Attempted murder - 10 years’ imprisonment.

Counts 1 and 2 to run concurrently, Count 3 to run separately, while Counts 4 and 5 would be served concurrently. As a result, each of the accused perpetrators will serve a cumulative term of more than 20 years’ in prison and have been deemed unfit to possess firearms.

In response to the court's decision, the Provincial Commissioner of Limpopo, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe, expressed satisfaction with the verdict handed down by the Polokwane Division of the High Court. The Commissioner lauded the court's decision as a significant step towards removing individuals who pose a threat to society from the province, emphasizing that the five male accused did not deserve a place within the community.


Colonel Malesela Ledwaba
082 451 7180

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    Sergeant Tumelo Shai from the Leboeng SAPS Detectives Service