Life sentences for men found guilty of Moses Maluleke’s murder

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The five men who shot and killed Collins Chabane Municipal Mayor Moses Maluleke have been sentenced to life imprisonment by the High Court in Polokwane, Limpopo.

They have also been given lesser sentences for conspiracy to commit robbery, murder, attempted murder, and possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

The convicted murderers, Shumani Nemadodzi, Isaac Mudau, Wiseman Baloyi, Tshianeo Munyai and Pfhundzo Lidzebe shot and killed the late Maluleke at his home at Xikundu village outside Malamulele in July 2022.

The two-year trial concluded with a long imprisonment term for the killers. Judge Violet Semenya said that the killers should not get mercy as they failed to do that when they murdered Maluleke.

Judge Semenya has also mentioned that Maluleke’s son, Ntokoto, is still suffering from the bullet lodged in his hips after being shot by the murderers.

“The accused are sentenced as it follows, count one and count two will be taken as one sentence purposes and each accused is sentenced to 15 years imprisonment, count number three of murder each accused is sentenced in terms of section 51 subsection 1 of the criminal law amendment Act 105 of 1997 to life imprisonment. In terms of Act 60 of 2000, each accused is declared unfit to possess a firearm.”

During mitigation of their sentences, the five men had pleaded for leniency as they have children and families to support.

‘It will be unjust to impose a sentence, the effect of which is more likely to destroy them than to reform them. I find this passage to be more relevant my lady, I’ve submitted that the two accused before this honorable court considering their personal circumstances, they are suitable candidates for rehabilitation as the court is to impose sentences, all we are asking is that the court should deviate from imposing the minimal sentence my lady,” the defense counsel appealed.

The widow of the late mayor, Rhangeleni Maluleke, has said that husband was financially supporting the family and the community.

“These five men, they made him alight from his motor vehicle, they killed him at his homestead where he felt that it’s a place where he thought he was safe. Every time when I’m at home when I peep through the window, the vision of everything that happened to my husband it always comes back to me.”

Family spokesperson Eiteken Maluleke has welcomed the sentence.

“As a family we welcome the sentence, it is a befitting sentence for what they did.”

Meanwhile, Limpopo NPA spokesperson Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi says the sentence will send a message to other would-be killers.

“As the NPA, we are very pleased with the outcome of the court. We hope that this will be a deterrent if we get life sentences as we hoped, this will send a message out there.”

The Maluleke family has called for the mastermind in the matter to be arrested.