Judge Matthew Klein handed the sentences in the High Court in Johannesburg sitting in Palm Ridge, on Friday. Khakhu, 22, was trigger happy, Klein had said earlier.
This in turn led to the deaths of Tibbetts and Elton Mooi. Two mothers were now left asking where their children were. “You can lose a mother, sister or brother, but not a child. It’s a deep hurt, very deep.”
Klein likened Khakhu to gangster Al Capone whose life started off by welding guns.
He further pointed to the social problem facing Westbury which had been riddled with drugs.
Klein handed down judgment earlier and found Khakhu guilty of one other count of murder, five accounts of attempted murder and 10 unlawful possessions of a firearm and ammunition.
Tibbetts was shot in the head in Steytler Street in August last year.
He was in his mother’s arms while sitting in her lap in a car when Khakhu had fired shots in the street. He was allegedly firing shots at another resident, Keenan Mokwena.
In his ruling, Klein found Khakhu knew his actions could hurt someone. Khakhu was trigger happy, said Klein.
He fired 10 shots and that was direct intention to kill, and he made his mind up before shooting, the court heard.
“He might have said: ‘You bugger, wait till I get you.’,” said Klein.
Khakhu’s actions had left the Westbury community reeling.
This was evident at Tibbetts’ funeral last year where the three year old’s mother Candice offered the congregation a glimpse into her son’s life.
She had displayed anger at the incident.
“My job was to heal scraped knees and not to stop stray bullets,” she said.
“My God never failed me. But the justice system and society failed me.”
Tibbetts death came in the wake of three other children in Gauteng. who at the time had been killed due to criminal elements.
READ MORE:Justice for Luke Tibbetts