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Life in prison for CCM Mayor Moses Maluleke’s killers

The four men responsible for the murder of the Mayor of the Collins Chabane Municipality, Moses Maluleke in 2022 conspired to commit murder and rob the family at their homestead.

POLOKWANE – The long arm of the law caught up with the murderers of the Mayor of the Collins Chabane Municipality, Moses Maluleke (56) in 2022, as they listened to their sentencing in the Polokwane High Court last week.

Deputy judge president Matsaro Violet Semenya sentenced all the accused to life imprisonment for murder, 10 years for attempted murder, 15 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances, and five years each for the unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.

Shumani Nemadodzi (48), Avhatakali Isaac Mudau (39), Wiseman Baloyi (37), Tshianeo Munyai (32) and Pfunzo Lidzebe (33) conspired to commit murder and rob the family at their homestead in Xikundu village on July 21, 2022 when they gained access to Maluleke’s house that evening.

Maluleke was shot in the presence of his 18-year-old son, whose cellphone was taken at the time.

Read more: Limpopo police seek mayor’s killers

The court accepted the evidence of a key witness close to the crime.

The spokesperson for National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in Limpopo, Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi said the state has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.

In mitigation of the sentence, Nemadodzi’s wife pleaded with the court not to impose a life sentence so he would be able to provide for their second-born child, whom she said was diagnosed with cancer and heart disease.

Mudau, Baloyi, Munyai and Lidzebe also pleaded for leniency, saying they have to take care of their families.

You might also want to read: Murdered mayor remembered as champion of development

During sentencing, senior state advocate Eric Mabapa, called Rhangeleni Mambre Maluleke, the wife of the deceased mayor, who told the court how the family’s lives have changed since the fateful day on which her husband was shot.

“As a result of this incident, our doors and gates are always locked, as we continue to fear for our lives. My husband was a generous person who would assist anyone who was in need in the community. I am struggling to manage the household. My son is not well.”

She pleaded for the accused to receive the maximum sentence.

Mabapa argued that the sentence should act as a deterrent because of the seriousness of the crime and further argued that there were no substantial or compelling circumstances to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence.

The offences were committed out of greed, and the interests of society should be considered, he said.

Semenya ordered that the sentences run concurrently, and declared all the accused unfit to possess a firearm.

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Adv Ivy Thenga welcomed this sentence and congratulated the legal team as well as the police’s Lt Col Sotlo Richard Boshomane and WO officer Masilo Phaladi Makola from the murder and robbery unit for their sterling work.

The provincial commissioner of police in Limpopo Lt Gen Thembi Hadebe has welcomed the court verdict imposed by the Polokwane High Court against the five male accused.

“This is an epitome that crime does not pay and perpetrators will be severely punished for their actions. I would like to applaud the criminal justice system for ensuring that the accused are removed from society at all costs,” said Hadebe.

Also, the Premier of Limpopo Chupu Stanley Mathabatha has welcomed the sentencing of five individuals who were convicted for the heinous murder of the late Mayor of Collins Chabane Municipality.

“This verdict marks a significant moment in our justice system, demonstrating our unwavering commitment to upholding the rule of law and ensuring that justice is served for the victims of violent crimes and their families. The loss of Mayor Maluleke was not only a tragedy for his family but also a profound loss for the community and the province which he served with dedication and compassion. His untimely death is a stark reminder of the challenges we face in combating crime and violence in our society. The bravery and resilience of his family, especially in the face of such adversity, have been a beacon of hope and strength for us all,” said Mathabatha.

Mathabatha further said: “As we reflect on this case, let us remember the values that Maluleke stood for: service, generosity and community development. Let his legacy inspire us to work even harder towards creating a safer, more just Limpopo where every citizen can live without fear.

Mathabatha concluded by reiterating the government’s dedication to enhancing public safety, supporting law enforcement agencies and strengthening of the justice system to prevent such senseless acts of violence in the future.

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