Two men convicted of murdering businessman Johan Kleynhans in his Hermanus home in 2009 were handed life sentences by the Western Cape High Court yesterday. (subs: Tues)
Life imprisonment was handed down to Vuyusami Mfundeni and Thembalethu Khameni by Acting Judge Joey Moses. Both men also received an additional 15 years for robbery and 10 years for assault with aggravating circumstances.
A third accused, Mawanda Mabena received 20 years for murder and 15 years for robbery, to run concurrently.
A fourth man, Xolani Ndumo, is serving a 20 year sentence for his role in the murder after he turned state witness and testified against his co-accused.
The sentencing comes more than two years after Kleynhans was shot dead in his home by intruders on 24 April 2009 and his wife Jean assaulted.
The state’s case largely relied on the testimony of Deon Methu, a taxi driver who dropped and collected the men on the day of the murder.
Moses said he found it strange that the convicts killed Kleynhans even though he and his wife Jean were “helpless, posed no danger to the perpetrators, were unarmed and did not resist when instructed by the intruders to move around the house”.
“The crimes are undoubtedly serious and premeditated and the perpetrators were well masked and disguised their identity.”
He said Kleynhans was killed because the murderers were “driven by greed”.
Moses said the sentence was a message to criminals and would-be criminals that “crime does not pay” and “communities are tired of the housebreakings and robberies which had become the order of the day”.
Defence representative for Mfundeni, Senior Counsel Peter Colenso was, however, “disappointed” that Moses did not allow him to apply for leave to appeal before announcing that the court was in recess,
Despite Colenso’s attempts to appeal following the sentencing, Judge Moses announced “the court is in recession” and walked out of the court room.
“He should have listened to what I had to say before walking out that door. It is my client’s right to appeal the sentencing if I am not satisfied,” said Colenso. – Sandiso Phaliso