The three men who pleaded guilty for robbing and murdering a retired University of KwaZulu-Natal professor have been sentenced to 25 years behind bars.
83-year-old Francois Jean Hugo was in his home in the Hilton area in April this year when Kwanele Thomas Ntuli, Kwazi Kunene and Simphiwe Charles Ngcoya entered his home with the intention to rob him.
Hugo walked in on the three, who then bound his legs and feet and began assaulting him.
They tied his pyjama pants around his neck and gagged him, killing the elderly man in the process, the National Prosecuting Authority said in a statement.
The men admitted they considered their actions could have killed Hugo, but that they continued with their robbing spree regardless.
They ended up stealing a laptop, cellphones, shoes, keys and kitchen appliances from Hugo, and used his car to flee the scene.
When the thieves returned to the home to steal more items, they were promptly arrested.
During court proceedings, victim impact statements described Hugo as a humble, kind and talented person who was a valuable community member.
Hugo’s son said the family had suffered a significant loss, and were struggling to come to terms with his death.