The High Court of South Africa has handed hefty life imprisonment sentences to three Zimbabwean men who brutally murdered Alwyn Petrus Van Zyl, a farmer at Bad Se Loop farm in Waterberg, on 20 March 2020.
The three accused are identified as Ugenius Saga (31), Lloyd Mandumbu (30) and Tatenda Ngwenya (33).
The three men have been given an additional 15 years each for robbery with aggravating circumstances, five years each for housebreaking with intent to rob, and one year each for assault. Ngwenya will also serve an additional 15 years for the unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.
On the day of the murder, it was alleged Van Zyl and his wife were sleeping when the three men arrived and attacked them.
Van Zyl was tied up with a rope and the men took several items, including a dark blue cooler bag marked R Van Zyl, a red high output air pump, silver Tasco binoculars, a black and yellow bag containing a ventilated touring tent.
The three were arrested the day after the murder.
The post-mortem report revealed that the cause of Van Zyl’s death was strangulation.
During the trial, the accused maintained that they are not guilty. They denied being in possession of the blue cooler bag with the deceased’s name.
The state submitted that the evidence provided by the police linked the accused and that the court must consider the evidence provided in aggravation of sentence. The state Adv. Nkhetheni Munyai indicated the gravity of the offences, and the economic impact, saying that there is a legitimate public outcry about farm murders.
The court decided that the murder was premeditated and that the three accused acted in the furtherance of a common purpose when committing the offences.