NELSPRUIT – One of two men was convicted of murdering a 90-year-old man, while both were convicted of armed robbery by the Nelspruit Regional Court on Monday.
A Sapa correspondent reported that Joseph Mashaba,18, and Thapelo Shongwe, 23, were convicted of murdering Judas Cabanga on a farm in Kaapmuiden near Malalane in September 2011.
The two had pleaded not guilty to charges of armed robbery with aggravating circumstances and murder.
Magistrate Shelly Msibi told the court: “The deceased was attacked on September 14, 2011, and the victim died of his injuries on September 26.”
Shongwe was found guilty on both counts, while she found Mashaba guilty of armed robbery only.
Cabanga at the time was looking after young children at the farmhouse. He was hacked by Shongwe in front of a two-year-old boy and robbed of mielie meal and DVDs.
Prosecutor Michael Mazibuko said according to the evidence, it was clear Cabanga took care of the children while others were at work.
He said the deceased’s house was in a secluded area and surrounded by a sugar cane field.
“The accused came from behind the house and it was a well-planned robbery. One of the children, a two-year-old, was found right at the scene, meaning it happened in his presence,” Mazibuko said.
“Shongwe showed no regard for human life. In his early 20s, he should have pushed the deceased aside and took what he wanted, not to kill him.”
He sought a life sentence for Shongwe, and 15 years each for both men for armed robbery.
The case was postponed to July 30 for sentencing.