The sentencing of three Langa men convicted of embarking on a one-night violent axe-wielding spree of murder and rape which left two people dead and a woman traumatized by rape, was reserved by the High Court on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the families of the three men have pleaded with the court for a lenient sentence and the trio’s legal representatives argued before Judge Wilhelm van Staden that the state not impose the minimum life sentence for their crimes.
Siphelele Mesheki, 20, Siphiwo Mthayisi, 21, and Sikholise Sam, 20, have been found guilty of breaking into Monwabisi Makeleni’s house on August 31, 2010, assaulting him and robbing him of his possessions, including a hand axe.
Before leaving with their loot, Mthayisi raped a woman in one of the rooms. Walking down the streets, the men then came across a couple sitting in a parked car and damaged the vehicle before hauling the man out of the driver’s seat.
He was stabbed as the men robbed him and his female companion of their cellphones and cash.
The pair were then dragged to an open field where the woman was raped by Mthayisi and Sam before she and her companion were hacked to death with the stolen axe.
Mthayisi had confessed to this version of events.
Mthayisi named Sam, Mesheki and two other men as their companions in crime but they were released due to lack of evidence.
Mesheki was found guilty of two counts of murder, Mthayisi was convicted of two counts of murder and two counts of rapes, while Sam was found guilty of one count of rape.
Following mitigation of sentence hearings, during with the accused’s family pleaded on their behalf, the van Staden is expected to pronounce sentencing in July. –Sandiso Phaliso